Stylistic Devices Used in King Lear

1163 WordsJul 15, 20185 Pages
Shakespeare’s stylistic devices convey not only a feeling of dejected despondency and suffocating anguish, but also tempestuous petulance and melancholic despair to illustrate the consequences of a lack of self-awareness and the painful process of enlightenment which follows. In addition, the breaking of the filial bond provides this necessary hardship for Lear which elicits both a feeling of pity for his state of affairs and retribution for the vanity which previously consumed him. However, these feelings eventually morph into a sense of resolution as Lear gains understanding of his past mistakes and displays an unwavering resolve as a result. Consequently, the stylistic devices in this climax serve to demonstrate both the hopelessness of…show more content…
Preceding, Lear sulks in the misery of his hopelessness, but following, he recognizes the ineffectuality of his brooding and determines to eschew his self-sorrow. In this way, the punctuation on the outer layer of the text ironically provides for this enormous metamorphosis of character which permeates the deepest layers of textual significance. Furthermore, in “Thou think’st ‘tis much that this contentious storm,” the alliteration and consonance of the “t” sounds in the short-worded phrase serve to further intensify Lear’s situation by adding a certain severity. The callous nature of the sounds here relates back to the assailing squall which bombards Lear and the simultaneous, psychological combat he encounters. By intentionally employing this rough sound, Shakespeare deepens the excruciating effect of the text as a multifaceted meaning of the words subtly reveals itself. In a like manner, the employment of swirling stars against morose colors in Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” purposefully serves to illustrate the harshness of life and the pessimism of the artist through his medium. In both the painting and the play, the ruggedness of the medium relays the starkness of the message. So too in life, one’s method of expressing himself proves more than just a medium of communication; it is the communication. This message reinforces the feeling of affliction, as Shakespeare investigates the concept of the breaking of the filial bond and the idea

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