Personal Identity In King Lear, Othello And Hamlet By William Shakespeare

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Shakespeare has been called a “two-eyed playwright” (CITATION), and seems ultimately aware of his characters motivations and desires. However, when looking at the intrinsic identity of the characters within his work, it is possible to note that some go through more drastic or challenging changes of identity than others. This calls up the question: how fixed is personal identity in Shakespeare’s work? (CITATION YOuTuBE) claims that personal identity is either the way a character presents themselves, or the way a society perceives that character. When analyzing specific characters in King Lear, Othello, and Hamlet it is possible to see that while the flexibility of identity is dependent on the character and their circumstances, some character’s identies primarily the title characters of each of these plays, have identities which are far more flexible than others in their story. King Lear exemplifies issues of selfhood primarily in the characters of Lear, Cordelia, and Kent. The play dramatizes a skepticism of inherent self-hood using devices such as costume and insanity. The clothing imagery apparent in King Lear implicates most of what the characters believe themselves to be is comprised of things that are taken on or off, such as titles or garments relating to specific stations. The imagery relating to dress and class would have been particularly poignant at the time of the play’s original performance. With the emergence of the merchant class it became possible for

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