Shakespeare's King Lear - The Redemption of King Lear Essay

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The Redemption of King Lear

It is said that no other playwright illustrates the human condition like William Shakespeare. Furthermore, it is said that no other play illustrates the human condition like King Lear. The story of a bad king who becomes a good man is truly one of the deepest analyses of humanity in literary history; and it can be best seen through the evolution of Lear himself. In essence, King Lear goes through hell in order to compensate for his sins.

Lear's relationship with his three daughters, Goneril, Regan and Cordelia, is, from the beginning, very uncharacteristic of the typical father-daughter relationship. It's clear that the king is more interested in words than true feelings, as he
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When he chooses to abdicate his throne and puts each of the young women on trial, he commits the sin that leads to his downfall. It's clear that Lear's first motive for giving up his title is to gain further respect from his people - if he relinquishes his crown then he'll be thought of as noble and aware of his old age. However, Cordelia's surprising answer to his question results in her banishment, and eventually the banishment of the Earl of Kent, Lear's former supporter. Left in the aftermath of these acts are the people who wish to use Lear in their favor. Persuaded by Edmund, Lear's older daughters begin to abuse their new power. Feeling emotionally jilted and vengeful, they take everything from their father. Lear is now just a vulnerable old man, naked and virtually alone. Truly, Lear is at fault for all of this as his favoritism for Cordelia has scarred Goneril and Regan, thus driving them to commit their treacherous acts. These acts represent the first stages of Lear's hell.

Lear, through his daughters' betrayal, finds himself struggling to survive in the middle of an overwhelming tempest. Now mad, the king finds shelter with Gloucester, his Fool and Edgar, posing as a madman. King Lear decides to hold a second trial of his daughters; but this time, he is questioning all their love. This second of three trials in the play is possibly the most
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