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Similarities Between “Okonkwo” and “King Lear”

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The characters of “Okonkwo” and “King Lear” have similar downfalls and delusions. Both of them start out in a position of supreme authority, and are reduced to the level of a common peasant by the end of the story. The main factor that brings about their expeditious downfall is the exceedingly strong arrogance of the two characters. Through certain chains of events, this arrogance is broken and Okonkwo and King Lear become somewhat humble. These stories are perfect examples of how extreme hubris and egoism can lead to the utmost downfall of even the most powerful person.

One problem both Lear and Okonkwo possess is that they belive their image is more important than what they truly feel and think. Okonkwo kills his beloved adopted son Ikemefuna against his emotions to preserve his standing in the tribe and to not make him seem weak or impotent. King Lear disowns his most loved daughter because she insulted his boisterous ego. Nearly everything these two men do is based upon what their public image will look like in the end. Another example from Chinua Achabee’s Things Fall Apart is Okonkwo’s disowning of his eldest son Nwoye because he did not want to be seen as a weak man. This problem plagues these two people throughout their despairing stories.

These two characters are also exceedingly delusional about themselves, their relationships, and their beliefs. Both have delusion self-images that project themselves as the utmost authority that all others should submit to. They expect everyone to do whatever they want. Their relationships and beliefs are delusional and unclear because their emotions and judgement are clouded by their arrogance, pride, and overly confident self-image.

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