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Superheroes, Despite Their Different Powers, All Possess

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Superheroes, despite their different powers, all possess similar characteristics that define them, such as courage, honesty, selflessness, and the maintenance of strong morals. Similarly, King Lear, the tragic hero in William Shakespeare’s play, King Lear, possesses characteristics that define him as a tragic hero, as stated by Aristotle in Poetics via A.C. Bradley’s The Shakespearean Tragic Hero. King Lear is a character of high social status, and he possesses exceptional qualities that make him a well-respected king; however, throughout the play’s events, he suffers tremendously in an unusual manner. In addition, Lear, despite being a “good” character with good intentions, possesses a tragic flaw – his pride which ultimately blinds him…show more content…
However, as the play progresses, his suffering that is caused by the impulsive decision to divide his kingdom is clearly seen. This suffering is illustrated through the loss of his sanity, ultimately due to the sudden loss of his power, his deteriorating relationships with his daughters, and the inability to prevent these negative outcomes. Upon realizing his mistake of solely letting Regan and Goneril inherit his kingdom, Lear is “ashamed that [his daughters have the] power to shake [his] manhood” (I.iv.299-301). His daughters, who are women and are therefore considered to be less important and powerful in his society, have taken control of Lear’s power and life, and it is embarrassing to him as he is used to receiving constant honour, pride, and glory as the King. This illustrates the start of him losing his sanity, and soon, Lear is seen pleading to the gods to “keep [him] in temper” and to “not [let him] be mad,” as he is stripped away from all that is his (I.v.43-44). As King Lear pleads for help to maintain his sanity, his sufferings are clearly illustrated as the change in his character is evident; a change from a virtuous, powerful king, to a mentally unstable, powerless, and embarrassed beggar-like character. This form of suffering is unusual because a sudden but significant loss of power is rare, especially for someone as powerful and influential as a King. All the sudden negative
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