Essay about The Theme of Justice in King Lear

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The Theme of Justice in King Lear Many themes are evident in King Lear, but perhaps one of the most prevalent relates to the theme of justice. Shakespeare has developed a tragedy that allows us to see man's decent into chaos. Although Lear is perceived as "a man more sinned against than sinning" (p.62), the treatment of the main characters encourages the reader to reflect on the presence or lack of justice in this world. The characters also vary in their inclination to view the world from either a fatalistic or moralistic point of view, depending on their beliefs about the presence or absence of a higher power. The theme of justice in relation to higher powers can be illustrated from…show more content…
Chaos rules the unnatural. As well, King Lear makes another devastating mistake which affects his relationship with his daughters by asking them to tell him how much they love him in order that he may divide his kingdom according to the strength of their love. Cordelia, the youngest daughter, states that she loves her father "according to her bond" (p.4). She is saying that she loves him as much as any child could love a father. On the other hand, Goneril and Reagan easily speak the words that their father wants to hear, rather than the truth. Because Lear is not satisfied with Cordelia's response, he turns his back on Cordelia and on her love. By doing this he is destroying the natural family unit and lacks the insight to know this. He unjustly punishes Cordelia by banishing her from the kingdom. He casts out his daughter in an unfatherly fashion, yet is gravely upset by the ingratitude of his other two daughters, Goneril and Reagan. Once again, due to Lear's lack of wisdom, he fails to recognize the sincerity of Cordelia's words. Thus, he puts his relationship with his daughters in jeopardy which results in a constant source of grief for King Lear. King Lear holds firm to his belief that the world is governed by the gods and in justice. Therefore he does not question the will of the gods in letting

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