King Lear's View of Himself Essay

Decent Essays
King Lear's View of Himself "King Lear" is a play all about the cruelty of human nature and the ways in which all people, "good" and "bad", can sin, or be sinned against. Lear is a very difficult character to categorise as either "good" or "bad" as he is both "sinned against" and "sinning". It is also very difficult to use these sins as a measure of his character as they a varying in severity. When we first meet Lear he is in the process of dividing his kingdom into three, preparing to hand it to his three daughters. This is a sin, as according to The Divine Right of Kings, each monarch is chosen by God, and is there fore answerable to none but him. Having been chosen by God to rule, it…show more content…
"Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty According to my bond; no more nor less." Cordelia speaks honestly and sensibly, but by doing so she injures Lear's pride, and for this she is disinherited. And when the King's most trusted advisor takes Cordelia's side, the Lear is forced to banish him also to save face. So far Lear appears more sinning than sinned against. His two eldest daughters both lie about their love for him in order to claim their inheritance. Goneril claims; "Sir, I love you more than word can ever wield the matter" To which her sister, Regan, agrees; "I am made of the same mettle as my sister" Neither of the two can state a legitimate reason for their love, one claiming that words cannot describe her love, and the other simply agrees. However, I feel that they can be forgiven this sin, as their father had left them with little choice, as is shown by his mistreatment of Cordelia. This must be counted as a sin against the King, as Goneril and Regan did lie with vicious intent. Considering that the daughter's sin stemmed from that of the father, we must still consider Lear the greater sinner at this point. Having divided his kingdom, Lear intends to stay with his daughters. This may be considered as imposing on the girls, but Lear is left with very little choice, as he
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