King Lear

772 Words4 Pages
"The first duty of society is justice" stated by one of the founding fathers of the United States, Alexander Hamilton. Justice is one of the most integral values required to maintain a peaceful and civilized society. William Shakespeare's tragic play King Lear is set in a chaotic universe filled with madness, conspiracies and death which can be restored with justice. Justice should be a more valued virtue over mercy as it conveys fairness and harmony amongst all. On the other hand, mercy administers to be lenient on offenders without holding them accountable for their actions. The unfairness the people of Lear's kingdom experienced can be resolved by implementing justice to society by bringing awareness to the consequences of one’s actions,…show more content…
King Lear's daughter Regan demonstrates no remorse for her actions. For example, after witnessing Cornwall gouge out innocent Gloucester's' eyes, Regan's next thought is to kill him as she fears he may plot revenge against her for blinding him. Regan states "It was great ignorance, Gloucester's eyes being out,/To let him live. Where he arrives he moves/ all hearts against us" (IV v 10-12). Revealed by her actions, Regan believes she won't have to repent for her misdeeds hence can persist with her crimes. Regan is not punished throughout the play until she is poisoned by Goneril--only a severe action like death was able to stop her from further deception. If mercy is granted to individuals such as Regan, the offenders will continue to commit crimes as no punishment is ordered upon them to realize their mistakes. As a result, granting offender's mercy is not enough for them to rectify their mistakes, only justice can provide righteousness to restore Lear's kingdom to…show more content…
If injustice is not punished at the right time, then more injustice can occur. For example, in Act II when King Lear had witnessed his messenger Kent/Caius in stocks, Lear should have immediately demanded justice for such humiliation done to him. However, after Cornwall confessed his crime "I sent him there, sir, but his crimes deserved a worse/ punishment."(II IV 189-190), Lear was astounded to discover Regan and Goneril had conspired against him. Thus, Cornwall and Regan were not punished for their misdeeds which led to more crimes throughout the play. Furthermore, if Cornwall and Regan had been punished they would not have had the courage to abuse their powers to any further extent. Unfortunately, however Gloucester had his eyes taken out before he could witness Cornwall meeting his death. This conveys that if justice is not met when needed, offenders will take advantage of one's forgiveness and continue with their

More about King Lear

Open Document