Natural Law Of Shakespeare 's King Lear

1664 Words Jan 4th, 2015 7 Pages
Amber Li
Dr. Andreacchi
January 6, 2015
Natural Law in Shakespeare’s King Lear King Lear is one of the most famous tragedies, which was written by Shakespeare between 1603 and 1606. During that period, the social unrest swept across the whole England, and the rise of capitalism led to moral turpitude. With the high-speed economic development, many old ethics and moralities had been gradually forgotten and destroyed. Therefore, King Lear can be seen as a true portrayal of the social phenomena of this time.

The play explores the Natural law, which can be easily found in terms of power relationships between human beings— parents over children, husbands over wives, and king over subjects. The notion of natural social order in King Lear is not only simply as one of the most essential themes, but also the foundation of the entire play. First and foremost, at the core of this play lies the filiation between parents and children. Shakespeare shows the significance of this relationship through Edmund, Goneril and Regan, who do not respect their parents. At the beginning of the play, Edmund has no any entitlement under the unjust British Hierarchy and the social customs at that time because he is a bastard. When he said, “Shall top the legitimate; I grow; I prosper/Now, gods, stand up for bastards!” (1. 2. 21-22) These words define his the respect and rank of low birth. Though man 's law neglects to recognize his rights of inheritance, he believes that he…

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