King Lear Rhetorical Analysis

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Ensuing from temporal shifts, the expectations of society evolve, and cultural values progress accordingly. William Shakespeare’s play King Lear (1606) animates the hierarchical power structures arising from the avaricious nature of humanity. In doing so, it evokes a vast multitude of humanistic emotions like greed, love and pride between the royals within the Elizabethan era. However, the issues and ideas explored in King Lear remain universal despite the wavering ethos of the period. Ultimately, the play’s intricate utilisation of dramatic and literary devices in conjunction with its meaningful exploration of human ideals makes the play timeless. Like many Jacobean dramas, the events transpiring within the play are deeply related to the avaricious…show more content…
Lear best known for his tyrannical patriarchy and childlike behaviour befalls the persona of an evolving character, one so blinded by pride and cocooned by gluttony he would “disclaim all [his] paternal care, Propinquity, and property of blood…As thou my sometime daughter”, thus remarking upon over-divulging nature of the human condition in accordance with gluttonous longing for praise. Having imposed his decision to live out the rest of his life with Goneril and Regan his ‘two dog-hearted’ daughters, “whose mind and mine I know in that are one”, reveal that they are fed up of the fact that “Old fools are babes again” and abhorred their father’s company, thus commenting upon the gluttonous constitution of the human psyche when inundated with power. Lear, once considered important due to hierarchical power as a King, fails to instigate authority in the face of chaos, animated through the pathetic fallacy of the storm with Lear’s internal conflict in which “winds blow, and crack their cheeks!/Here I stand your Slave.” As a man who is “more sinned against, than sinning”, Lear comes to the realisation that he, just like any other mortal, is insignificant. Revealing the comment made upon the evolving nature of the human psyche. This realisation compels him to reprioritize his values and mature into a self-effacing individual. Shakespeare’s competent use of Lear as…show more content…
Their magnanimous and altruistic personas establish endearing and principled characters that, despite being banished stay true to their morals. Cordelia, Lear’s disowned daughter is willing to “spring with her tears. Be aidant and remediate in the good man’s distress” hence commenting upon the human condition through the unwavering familial bonds formed with cherished members of one’s lineage. Moreover the characterisation of Edgar as an ingenuous and dynamic persona empowers Shakespeare to employ Edgar as an agent of justice and a fake madman. When Edgar questions himself upon the agony of “Why I do trifle thus with his despair Is done to cure it/ my heart breaks at it”, he is preserving his moral character, whilst commenting upon the compassionate nature of the varying human experience of different characters in King Lear. Furthermore, Jacobean dramas have the protagonists who can be considered as revengers. Through Edgar’s remorse and awakened gallantry he decides to appear as a masked avenger challenging Edmund to “Draw your sword. If I offend you by what I say, you can use your sword to take revenge”, remarking upon the acquisitive need for revenge, stemming from the intransitive nature of love which is discovered within the human

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