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Lear Essay - Change

  • Submitted by: ashleychristina
  • on November 13, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,362 words

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Below is a free excerpt of "Lear Essay - Change" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Change is a process or transition and refers to the act of becoming different. The text ‘King Lear’ by William Shakespeare and the short story ‘The Sea’ by Eva Sallis effectively explore the concept of change. Change can be a challenging process that can occur as a consequence of an individual action or outside influence. Change can also result in an alteration of self and perspective leading to growth, self-actualisation and resolution.
Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear’ reveals the consequences of change as a result of individual action within an Aristotelian concept and structure of tragedy. Lear’s violation of the natural order in the first scene “we have divided our kingdom in three” is a direct challenge to the Divine Right of Kings. This action reveals Lear’s hamartia of hubris which is reinforced throughout the drama. “Which of you shall doth love us most?” His abdication of the throne in order “to shake all cares and business from our age” and his treatment of Cordelia and Kent represent the most unnatural acts of injustice, unleashing strife and chaos on the world and unimaginable suffering .A traditional Aristotelian tragic hero, Lear undergoes dramatic transformation from a egotistical, autocratic ruler to “a very foolish old man”. The process of change can be challenging and can be achieved through a painful and erratic process to enlightenment and humility.
Lear’s hubris quickly becomes apparent in the first scene. The love trial is a result of his materialistic assessment of love, demanding love in return for land, while dismissing his royal duties. Shakespeare gives Lear an imperative style, “Which of you shall doth love us most?” and his language is laden with the commands and imperious statements suited to a monarch convinced of his position and superiority. Lear’s hubris blinds him from the sycophantic “love declarations”, disguised with hyperbolic flattery, “I love you more than word can wield the matter” from both Goneril and Reagan.   The formality...

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