William Shakespeare's King Lear Essay

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Throughout King Lear, Shakespeare gives the reader small moments of human goodness to contrast the evil in the play. L.C. Knights describes it as "affirmation in spite of everything," (Coyle). These affirmative actions are clearly seen in response to the immorality, twisted values and evil that are so common throughout this play. These moments are used to give the reader an underlying faith in the human spirit despite the clear role of immorality and a lack of values. The instances of genuine human goodness allow Shakespeare to bring out intense evil and tragedy in his characters and plot without taking away all hope in humanity. The first affirmation of human goodness is seen as early as Act I Scene I in the play in a moment of…show more content…
By saving Cordelia from a life of destitution and rewarding her character, Shakespeare provides the reader with a small amount of hope amid the morally depraved and corrupt setting he has created. Another example of affirmation is honesty and loyalty of the Earl of Kent throughout the play. Shakespeare first show the reader Kent’s righteous values in Act 1 Scene 1 when he defends Cordelia and tells Lear he in making monumental mistake in disowning her. Although he makes his statement with a clear respect and dedication to the King, he to is banished. Kent goes unrewarded for his exhibition of morality, but his ability so sees through this disillusioned society gives to reader hope and another character to believe in. It is clear from the beginning of the play that being an noble character like Kent or Cordelia has lead only to banishment and estrangement from society. However bad it may be for the admirable characters, these affirming scenes and characters are necessary to the plays overall moral tone. They offer reassurance to the reader in regards to the morality of society. Thier small acts, though powerless in the face of the overwhelming presence of malice and evil in the play, give the reader some faith to hold on to. Shakespeare gives us these positive moments throughout the play, yet
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