The Tragedy Of King Lear By William Shakespeare

1671 Words7 Pages
In the eyes of many, the world might appear to entail solely happiness and prosperity. Beyond the oblivion is arguably a more practical depiction of real life, filled with cold truths and merciless mistakes. Few figures in history have captured this essence of reality to such a high degree as Aristotle, a revolutionary thinker whose ideas shaped Greek tragedy. Within his theory of tragedy is the concept of the tragic hero, whose great, ironic flaw leads to his own downfall. The tragic hero is of an elevated position in society but should, all the same, be a character with whom the audience can relate. The hero undergoes a massive revelation and experiences dramatic enlightenment. The tragedy of King Lear, written by William Shakespeare, illustrates the story of a proud and self-centered king, whose obtuse judgement shapes his demise. Lear’s impulsive actions catalyze a chain of events, inspiring emotion from the characters and the audience alike. On the surface, King Lear fits the description of Aristotle’s tragic hero. Discrepancies in Lear’s tale, however, contradict the idea of an idyllic relationship between Lear and the philosophies of Aristotle. Lear’s faults correspond to those of the audience, but their extremity proves to be unique. One might think King Lear becomes cognizant of his decisions, but his fall to insanity acts in conflict. The lack of catharsis in King Lear also precipitates the build-up of negative sentiment. Although King Lear is meant to be
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