Themes Of Madness And The Fuutility Of Life In Shakespeare's King Lear

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As a group, we decided to select Gary Jules song “Mad World” which connects to William Shakespeare’s tragedy, King Lear in terms of the themes of madness and the futility of life. In King Lear, the aspects of loss, suffering, and injustice are experienced by the characters that seemingly cause a hopeless end. This song will be played at the end of the play after Edgar speaks, as it essentially summarizes the final outcome of the play. We chose this song because the lyrics fit precisely with the end of the tragedy, and provides further insights Shakespeare attempts to reveal to the audience. The tone is also extremely depressing and melancholy, which effectively provides a connection with Gloucester’s unfortunate demise. Effectively, the audience should be able to attain a sense of the tragic mood at the end of the play. When the fault of an individual’s irrational decision causes unforeseen difficulties, it can cause a sense of bitterness which can lead to a desire for redemption in aspiration of fulfilling what was lost. In the beginning of the song, Jules discusses the element of the futility of life. Jules states that people awake “Bright and early for their daily races // Going nowhere,” which suggests the idea that individuals have a tendency to face society lacking any purpose or fulfillment. Likewise, King Lear provides insights regarding the loss of hope in Gloucester, who exclaims that he does not want to go any “further,” when Cordelia’s army lost the battle

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