King Lear “Ha Goneril with a white beard”

Introduction At its core, Shakespeare’s King Lea is concerned with the irrationality of suffering. At the moment of the play, we are presented with Lear’s developing madness caused by the “filial ingratitude” of Goneril and Regan. Lear’s ability to recognize the difference between appearance and reality, as well as Glouester’s ability to see “feelingly” act as a pivotal point in the play. Thus Shakespeare, argues through Lear and Glouester’s transition, that if suffering is to be justified it is because it reveals the dignity and courage of humanity
topic sentence 2 Through the extensive reference to flattery, Shakespeare endeavours to mark Lear’s transition from blindness into the realization of the ramification of his actions. His ability to conceive the nature of his deed despite his brutal suffering serves as a testament to the dignity of humanity
Ha! Goneril with a white beard ? Skeptical exclamation signifies Shaespeare mockery towards Lear’s foolish misjudgment in believing the “glib and oily art” of Goneril and Regan
They flattered me like a dog and told me I had white hairs in my beard ere the black ones were there. the use of past tense fortifies Lear’s demise from wisdom to folly, as evident in the comparison of “white hairs”, a symbol of age and idleness, against the “black ones”, a symbol of youth and wisdom. the simile associating Lear with “a dog” alludes to his comment in the previous act, “Allow not nature more than nature needs, Man’s life is cheap as beast’s” This allusion demonstrates the symbolic significance of clothing as a form of disguise. Lear’s action to strip off his clothes in the previous scene is not only symptomatic of his reduction to bestiality but also marks his triumph in distinguishing reality from appearance.
“there I found’em, there I smelt’em out. Lear’s acknowledgement of his blindness to flatterythe choice of word “smelt” reinforces Lear’s portrayal of himself as an animal as his language is gradually reduced, which then culminates into the plaintive, “’tis a lie.” allusion to the notion
“Go to, they are not men o’their words.” direct reference to the difference between word and deedremorseful tone of this statement, shakespeare evokes pity for Lear
“When the rain came to wet me once and the wind to make me chatter; when the thunder would not peace at my bidding” does not only allude to the storm and tempest that torments his mind, but also accentuates mankind’s lack of control over the natural this way Lear’s tragedy is not only attributed to his rebellion against nature, but also the irrationality of suffering
“divinity” signifies the notion that Lear is King by divine rights: Thus to Elizabethan audience, to throw away his kingship in the attempt to seek “Unburdened crawl towards death” is a rebellion against nature
proliferation of personal pronoun “I” and the extensive use of imperatives Shakespeare allows Lear to retain his language as king, and thereby argues that one cannot escape from his own nature.
“i pardon that men’s life” authority in toneLear cannot stop being King as he is King by natural ordination, reinforces the malicious power of nature which governs the playunderpins Lear’s capacity to forgive, as he transit from the vengeful wish for Goneril’s to “convey sterility” into the pardoning of Edmund’s life
“Let copulation thrive, For Gloucester’s bastard son was kinder to his father than were my daughters got ‘tween the lawful sheets” reference to Edmund’s soliloquythe playwright’s dire warning of the necessity to follow the natural order
“Ay, every inch a king”comparative “than” demonstrates Lear’s tendency to show authority despite his attempt to find release as king
tactile imagery of the “sulfurous pit- burning scalding, stench, consumption” shakespeare portrays Lear’s descend into the purgatory of his mindThus, through Lear’s pathos the playwright delineates the division of his kingdom which is not permitted in his natural mind, and thereby affirms the necessity for one to obey to the natural order
Gloucester’s opening lines of “The trick of that voice I do well remember. Is’t not the king” culminates his blinding in the previous scene and marks the beginning of his ability to conceive the word “feelingly”
“fie, fie, fie, pah pah!” reduced into animalistic howling indicate Lear’s unnatural behaviour in comparison to how he should behave in accordance to the natural social order.
topic sentence 3 Furthering this notion of dignity, the mirroring plots of Lear and Gloucester serves to accentuate their growing capacity to conceive the difference between word and deed
topic sentence 1 the irrationality of human suffering is dramatized through the reference to natural order in Lear’s speech
function of the subplot This evokes a universal portrayal of mankind’s susceptibility to misjudgement. Ironically, their developing ability to conceive “feelingly” the negative ramification of their action does not diminish but add to their misery, as epitomized by the exhaustive repetition of “there’s hell, there’s darkness, there is the sulphurous pit”
mirroring plots of Lear and Gloucester draws similarity between literal blindness and the superior vision of the mind’s eye, thereby accentuates men’s dignity as both of them begin to see “feelingly”reinforces the notion that it is through extreme suffering, that the dignity of men and endurance for suffering can be revealed

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