William Shakespeare 's King Lear

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INTRODUCTION: By facilitating the growth of evil within William Shakespeare’s King Lear, it is evident that the tragedy’s protagonist, King Lear can be held accountable for his own victimization and ultimate downfall. The most notable aspects of this self-induced victimization include Lear’s own lack of practical wisdom and divergence from the natural order, combined with the neglect of kingship, that enables Lear as a tragic hero to create the conceptual framework in which the ulterior motives of others, such as his daughters, Goneril and Regan, were able to flourish. Hence, Lear himself, is emphatically both an agent and a victim of the forces of evil “more sinned against than sinning.” This notion is further reinforced by critical works such as Irving Ribner’s book 'Patterns in Shakespearian Tragedy’ (1960) and Ian Johnston’s article ‘The Forces of Evil’ (1999) that to a greater extent affirm these ideals as the catalysts for the forces of evil throughout the tragedy. FIRST BODY: Idea: Lack of practical wisdom / moral blindness contributes to Lear’s ultimate downfall Shakespeare’s King Lear depicts one’s failure to logically see natural differences and hierarchical distinctions as a quintessential catalyst of evil, as the text’s protagonist, Lear, makes fundamental errors in judgement of his daughters. In saying so, such a predisposition is integrated into the text through Lear’s interactions with his three daughters at the outset of the play in Act 1 Scene 1.

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