Essays on King Lear

The play King Lear was set a little while after the Spanish Armada. The play all starts off in King Lear’s Castle when he decides to retire and split his kingdom. After he divides his kingdom, he goes to Goneril’s castle where he sees Goneril’s true colors she demands half of his knights leave and, at that moment, Lear is so angry that he curses his daughter and storms out to live with Reagan in her castle. Once Lear arrives and tries to convince Regan to let him live with her, and says, “Beloved Regan, Thy sister’s naught: O Regan, she hath tied Sharp-tooth'd unkindness, like a vulture, here: points to his heart” (2.4.48) but still Regan insists that Lear go back to live with Goneril because she also thinks that Lear having all his knights is unnecessary and she will not house all of them. Lear then goes out into the storm and refuses to go back in because his daughters have betrayed him.

This all started when King Lear decided that he wanted to step down and retire from being King. He has three daughters Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia. Initially, he plans on dividing his kingdom between the three, but something happens. Cordelia is talking to herself and it is almost her turn to tell her father how much she loves him but doesn’t know how to put into words and is both shy and not willing to flatter. 'Then poor Cordelia! And yet not so; since I am sure, my love's More richer than my tongue' (1.1.9). Once it is Cordelia’s turn Lear ask her what she has to say to top her other sisters, but she says nothing. “Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty According to my bond; nor more no less” (1.1.9). King Lear angered by her answer gives everything away to Goneril and Regan.

Lear is furious and mentions what has happened to the earl of Kent, a nobleman who served Lear and Gloucester who has two sons Edgar and Edmund. They both feel as though Lear is overreacting, but Lear doesn’t see anything wrong with what he has done. Gloucester's younger son Edmund is ambitious and conniving he will stop at nothing to gain power. “Well, my legitimate, if this is letter speed, And my invention thrive, Edmund the base Shall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper: Now gods, stand up for bastards' (1.2.16). Edmund is starting his plan to trick his father in to see that he is the legitimate son, not Edgar. Edmund writes the letter and is making it obvious but tries to hide it once it has drawn his father's attention. Gloucester reads the letter aloud and is shocked by what he has read. Reading the letter makes Gloucester enraged he can't believe that Edgar would write such things, so he sends Edmund to go out and find him. Edmund finds his brother and tells him to run and hide from his father because he isn't very happy with him right now. Edgar is confused but still listens to his brother. 'some villain hath done me wrong' (1.2.20). Edgar begins to think someone has set him up but doesn't realize the person who is behind it all is right in front of him. To himself, Edmund say, 'A credulous father! And a brother noble, Whose nature is so far from doing harms, That he suspects none: on whose foolish is honesty My practices ride easy! I see the business. Let me, if not my birth, have lands by wit: All with me’s meet that I can fashion fit” (1.2.20). Edmund has now fooled both his father and brother and they haven’t suspected a thing.

King Lear still furious with both his children standing out in the rain begins to realize that although Cordelia didn't give him the answer, he was looking for she truly loved him. 'Let it be so; thy truth, then, be thy dower' (1.1.10). Lear let his feelings cloud his judgment and now has realized that Cordelia was the only genuine one. Gloucester finally arrives after getting his eyes ripped out by Cornwall. While Edgar is still disguised, he doesn't reveal to his father who he is, but Gloucester talks about how he shouldn't have been so naïve and believed his illegitimate son over Edgar. Gloucester asks Edgar who is in disguise to take him up to the highest hill so that he can jump off. Edgar leads him to a flat surface and tells Gloucester that he is high up because Gloucester can't see it with his own eyes. 'Why I do trifle thus with his despair is done to cure it' (4.6.84). Edgar tells him to jump but only does this so that Gloucester will put past the fact that he can no longer see.

One event that shaped King Lear was Lear diving his kingdom amongst his three daughters. He found out what Goneril and Regan’s true intentions were and turned on his daughter who loved him the most. But later, was joined back together with Cordelia. Another turning point in the play was when Gloucester was blinded to think his son Edgar wanted to kill him but in reality, Edmund just wanted to feel important and take all the power.

Read more
We've found 45 essays on King Lear
King Lear Albany| The Ultimate Shapeshifter

We’ve all seen shapeshifters through different storylines, some of them important, and some not. They may start off as evil, vile characters that we all dislike but love in the end, or a lovable character that twists from favorable to malicious with a snap. The …

King Lear
Words 746
Pages 3
King Lear: A Tragic Hero

King Lear: A Tragic Hero King Lear by William Shakespeare Is an example of a classic tragedy. The mall character, King Lear, Is the tragic hero, which Is one of the aspects of a tragedy. King Lear wrongfully judges his daughters when he asks them …

King LearLoveTragedyTragic Hero
Words 1011
Pages 5
King Lear Narrative Essay

Although a similar vision of justice is encompassed within King Lear and The Tempest, both protagonists receive fate strikingly dissimilar from one another; as a direct result of the relationship shared between their respective daughters, which ultimately distinguishes the plays from the similar concepts (compassion, …

CompassionKing LearRevengeTragedy
Words 1789
Pages 8
Haven’t found the relevant content? Hire a subject expert to help you with
Essays on King Lear
$35.80 for a 2-page paper
get custom paper
King Lear and Little Boy Crying

Research and provide examples of the following literary terms: 1 . Simile- A simile is a direct comparison that always contains word as or like. Examples: He is as wealthy as 3111 Gate. Her personality Is like a bubble In a bottle to champagne. 2. …

BoyKing Lear
Words 2069
Pages 9
Change King Lear

Why is change inevitable? Why is it feared by many but then embraced with open arms by others? Change is the cause to be different, the process or result of altering. And although changes may be difficult and problematic, they often DO bring rewards to …

King LearTragedy
Words 1547
Pages 7
King Lear – Tragic Flaw

“Tragic heroes are so much the highest points in their human landscape that they seem the inevitable conductors of the power about them… great trees more likely to be struck by lightning than a clump of grass. Conductors may of course be instruments as well …

King LearTragedy
Words 888
Pages 4
King Lear Parallelism Essay

Parallelism Between Families Tragedy is defined by a series of unfortunate events that occurs to someone who does not deserve them. When a protagonist makes mistakes, sometimes other characters take the repercussions. Set in a time of royalty and ranks, King Lear describes parallel events …

King LearTragedy
Words 289
Pages 2
King Lear Imagery

The seemingly loving and honest sisters, Generic and Reagan, and Starr son, Edmund, are In reality; evil, uncaring, deceitful beings, and clothing that symbolizes who a person Is, Is simply only an Illusion. Early on in the play, Learns two daughters, Generic and Reagan, appear …

ImageryKing LearTragedy
Words 1168
Pages 5
Morally chaotic world In King Lear

Shakespeare presents a variety of ways in which moral chaos is brought about, including the disruption of the natural order and the characters possession of typically corrupted morals, even going as far as questioning the morals of his own society. However, having different principles in …

King LearMoralityVirtue
Words 1390
Pages 6
King Lear – Jealousy Between Goneril and Regan

In terms of power, Lear becomes the complete opposite of what he is in Act One by the end of Act Two. The fool says, “Now thou art an O without/ a figure. I am better than thou art now: I am a Fool, thou/ …

King Lear
Words 502
Pages 3
Lear and the Fool

1. How does William Shakespeare use changes in the Fool’s dialogue to mirror changes in Lear’s own perspective? Choose quotes from the sheet that support your argument. 2. How does William Shakespeare use the Fool to reflect Lear’s own thoughts and fears? Use a quote …

King LearTragedyWilliam Shakespeare
Words 328
Pages 2
King Lear Loyalty

Eastern and Western Perspectives on Loyalty Loyalty is a strong feeling of support and allegiance in which it is reflected upon two proclaimed movies with different setting and subplots, but possesses a similar understanding to what the writer was trying to convey. By watching Olivier’s …

King Lear
Words 1374
Pages 6
Unfinished King Lear

The play King Lear examines the concept of appearance and reality. The issues of madness and blindness become powerful symbols reinforcing this central concept. The two universal themes, madness and blindness relate to our modern life because in our everyday life we go through this …

King LearLove
Words 1048
Pages 5
Creative Critical Response to King Lear

Creative Critical Response King Lear- 2011 Production- Lyceum Theatre As the lights of the theatre dimmed and the stage was lit up, a roar of applause broke out over the audience. The stage production of Shakespeare’s King Lear has been long awaited by many critics …

King Lear
Words 497
Pages 2
What Are the Most Important Themes in King Lear?

“Different interpretations focus on different themes’, this statement is acceptable in the play King Lear. Edwin Sherin’s production of King Lear primarily explores the theme of Oder and Chaos, as opposed to excerpts by Marilyn Gaull, which focuses on the theme of Love evident in …

King Lear
Words 1193
Pages 5


What is the main theme of King Lear?
King Lear has a lot to say about the relation between appearance and reality. Lear doesn't care as much about the substance of his girls' love when they call them to publically confess their love for him.
What is the main plot of King Lear?
King Lear splits his kingdom among two of his daughters who flatter and banishes him from the third. The two oldest daughters, Lear and his wife, reject him at home. Lear then wanders aimlessly through the stormy night.
What is the moral of King Lear?
King Lear is a moral that says actions speak louder and more than words. It is easy for someone to say one thing and do the opposite.
How is King Lear a tragedy?
King Lear has a noble-born main character, but he makes a fatal wrong turn that causes extensive suffering and ultimately leads to the death and dismemberment of himself and others.

Save time and let our verified experts help you.

Hire writer