Essay On King Lear As A Tragic Hero

To intensify the tragedy of King Lear, Shakespeare has not one but two tragic characters and four villains.As we have seen, the sub-plot - concerning Gloucester, Edmund, and Edgar - augments the main plot.

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Throughout the rest of the play, the consequences of this error slowly and steadfastly increase until Lear is destroyed.

There must be a change in the life of the tragic hero; he must past from happiness to misery.

He behaves rashly and irresponsibly at the start of the play. He desires all the trappings of power without the responsibility which is why the passive and forgiving Cordelia is the perfect choice for a successor.

The audience may feel alienated towards him at the start of the play considering his selfish and harsh treatment of his favorite daughter.

A Jacobean audience may have felt disturbed by his choices remembering the uncertainty surrounding Queen Elizabeth I's successor.

As an audience, we soon feel sympathy for Lear despite his egotistical manner.

As Goneril and Regan become more conniving and vile our sympathy for Lear grows further.

Lear’s rages soon become pitiful as opposed to powerful and authoritarian his impotence of power maintains our sympathy with him and as he suffers and is exposed to the suffering of others, the audience can feel more affection for him.

Lear, as seen in Act I, has everything a man should want - wealth, power, peace, and a state of well-being.

Because a tragic character must pass from happiness to misery, he must be seen at the beginning of the play as a happy man, surrounded by good fortune.


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