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”King Lear” by William Shakespeare

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Throughout the novel, many of the characters can be pointed out as crazy and disillusioned .As different characters are seen to be talking to themselves and show various sides of their characters, I chose King Lear as one who reveals to me the most surprising and unexpected in the scenes through soliloquies and monologues. First of all, it is important to know a brief history of King Lear. He is an aging man who is loyal and a father that is loving to his daughters. Lear is identified as very generous especially when he tends to give away most of his responsibilities as a king to his daughters. As innocent and clueless as he is, king Lear simply becomes shocked and upset by his daughters betraying their own father. Later on in the novel, Lear’s whole personality transforms, as he rejects power and politics. Instead, he realizes the most crucial matter is being with the people that he loves. Soon, after seeing poor Tom, he spends precious time with thoughts and feelings for him. All of this information clearly shows how sympathetic and pure King Lear truly is throughout the novel, until 4.6.172-191, which unexpectedly reveals King Lear in a different way.

In this specific scene, King Lear bravely states, “To ’t, luxury, pell-mell—for I lack soldiers.”(4.6 130) By such inappropriate statement to Glouchester, Lear is referring to how they need to be focused on sleeping around with other females for his soldiers as well. Such act is unexpected because I had always seen and judged King Lear as a man who is pure and formal, who tries to act loyal in public. In the beginning of the novel, Lear shows his loyally and generosity when he says, “Meantime, we shall express our darker purpose.—Give me the map there.—Know that we have divided in three our kingdom, and ’tis our fast intent to shake all cares and business from our age.” (1.1 34-37) Afterwards in Act four, Lear admits how ruthless his daughters actually are, when he states, “They told me I was everything. ‘Tis a lie, I am not ague-proof.” (4.6 117-118) This is a clue of why King Lear acts in such lustful manner, as he is shocked and disappointed from such surprise.

Although I have seen him as generous man throughout the novel, this specific portion of the scene is not what I have expected from a man, who is a king after all. The statements from the King do not only reflect on how I judge him as. This surprising and unexpected side of the king Lear also reveals his attitude to the other characters and himself. When King Lear makes a statement of, “Behold yond simpering dame, whose face between her forks presages snow, that minces virtue and does shake the head to hear of pleasure’s name. The fitchew, nor the soiled horse, goes to ’t with a more riotous appetite,” (4.6 115-119) he lets go of his self esteem and pride as a king, and instead speaks as an impetuous man in front of Glouchester. Unfortunately, this disproves the innovative image I had of the king, which I had seen him as renown and loyal. Giving up on his firm pride and pureness that he had as a king, Lear does not care at all anymore. By the statement, “I remember thine eyes well enough. Dost thou squiny at me? No, do thy worst, blind Cupid. I’ll not love” (4.6 129-130) depicts the king admitting with his own mouth of how he does not know what love is anymore. This shows how the unexpected way that the king acted is because of the broken love that he had trusted onto so firmly.

King Lear surprisingly reveals his disloyal and lustless side in 4.6.172-191. He depicts himself by freely stating whatever he wants to, as he makes various types of sexual statements in public. This act truly surprises me for I have always seen the king as a respectful and man like person, as he confidently decided to share his responsibilities with his daughters. But after seeing how he acts as if his out of his mind with such unnecessary sayings that any normal king with self control land pride would say, this kind of act from King Lear has definitely surprised me for who he can be.

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