King Lear is one of the most thrilling books and plays done by William Shakespeare. Ideally, it is one of the four great tragedies within Shakespeare’s works. Among these plays is the Hamlet, Macbeth and Othello. However, King Lear is assumed to be the best among them. The title-characters of this play show a very clear outlay of leadership in a dynasty drafted by William Shakespeare. Ideally, the play lays its basis of the legendary “Lair of Britain” (Shakespeare 15). The legendary is described as a mythological Roman Celtic-King.
Accordingly, Shakespeare designed the play underwriting such that it is mainly based on the stage and motion pictures. Just like it is analyzed with reference to other plays by William Shakespeare, the King Lear is drafted to have been coveted and accomplished by professional actors. Historically, the play was written on the dates ranging from 1603 to 1606. It was revised at a later date. However, the Shakespeare’s revised version was done in 1608 in a quarto form. It has had different expressions of liking and impact towards the audience (Fu par 7). Ideally, the film under the book King Lear has had different revisions done on it over time. However, it has maintained its achievement for centuries now. This paper aims at making relevant analysis of the film and a detailed discussion of the characters in the written play, King Lear. In addition, it aims at expressing the role of some of the characters with reference to William Shakespeare’s allocation.
Summary of the play “King Lear”
The play, King Lear, is a brief documentation of a specific character (man) who intends to humble himself, but does it in an insane manner. The play King Lear composes of a protagonist player, King Lear. It is suggested that he intends to retire from leadership. In connection to that, he intends to straighten things up before he possibly succumbs to death. The challenge that King Lear faces is that he does not have any male heir. In that connection, the play introduces his three daughters namely, Goneril, Cordelia and Regan. For him to identify the royal one among them, he plays a game to identify who it could be. On the other side, none of the daughters loves him.
However, there is one of them who confess not to pretend to love to him, Cordelia. She is excommunicated and gets married off to the King of France. She is preferably the one who is identified as caring to her father (Shakespeare 48). The character of being a fool emerges when he lives with his daughter Goneril after dividing the dynasty among the two daughters. It is after a short time that he realizes that none of the two daughters loves him. The same situation happens to Glouster. He is deceived by his illegitimate son Edmund that his real son had intentions to kill him. Unfortunately, Edmund had ill intentions of snatching off the inheritance from Edgar. The experience by Glouster is identical to that of King Lear. Ideally, Glouster is the one who intends to help King Lear from being affected by the plot of his two daughters to disregard him. Because of being shocked, acquires a foolish which character creates a situation that disappoints the dreams that he had for his family.
Mistake done by King Lear in subdividing the country to the three daughters
Ideally, it is right for any ruler to pass on leadership in accordance to the provided legislation of any state. The same case could apply the King Lear. However, he was faced by one initial challenge. He does not have any son to take after him. So he decides to check on his daughters for the post. His commences by making an assumption that the daughter who expresses love for him will be the one to chose. That is the first mistake that he does. From an analytical point of view, Lear was not loved by either Goneril or Regan. However, they were hypocritical enough to embrace their father with showers of cold love. It is Chrystal clear that they are hungry for power (Fu par 3). Without taking substantial precaution, he decides to divide the country among his daughters. It is a sign of political, as well as, as a personal weakness.
Accordingly, King Lear’s thoughts and ideas become subject to scrutiny by one of his main men. Kent, who acts a wise main man to King Lear, expresses an opinion of allegiance by stating that the king had made the wrong choice. Lear continually makes the mistakes by disbursing the ideas given by his favorable daughter and main man. Initially, being a man who wishes the best for his family, he used the wrong criteria to initiate stability to his family (Shakespeare 49). King Lear learns that he had made a bad decision in the near future when both Regan and Goneril undermine the authority of their father. It becomes a sign of betrayal that leads to King Lear’s insane condition. His mistakes are rewarded by misfortunes that are identified at the end of the play.
How Regan and Goneril love King Lear to symbolize Lear’s blindness
Shakespeare initiates Regan and Goneril to express the extent to which Lear is blind. Initially, the play aims at identifying the king’s level of insanity with reference to the way he deals with things. One of the signs that show King Lear as a blind person occurs when he calls for his daughters in a game to identify that who loves him. For a long time, King Lear is usually under alternative care of his daughter Cordelia and his main man Kent. However, he still does not see the facts that love towards him could only be expressed through actions (Shakespeare 54). On the other side, Goneril and Regan address their father as lovely papa. They exaggerate their love to him in a manner that a bright and eyed person will discern. Their closeness due to the awaiting offer is identified as quite contrary to the previous one, when he was still energetic.
The opinion of Lear’s blindness is expressed at a time when he dismisses both Cordelia and Kent in favor of Regan and Goneril. It is a clear sign of the extent to which he has allowed the blindness dominate in his decision making process. Ideally, he learns that he had made a bad decision in the near future when both Regan and Goneril undermine the authority of their father. Therefore, this becomes a sign of betrayal that leads to King Lear’s insane condition.
Glouster’s physical blindness is a mirror image of Lear's spiritual blindness
The play presents a physically blind nobleman who experienced related issues as King Lear does. His name was Glouster. Glouster tells Ehmund of his intentions to save King Lear from being harmed by his daughters Goneril and Regan. However, Edmund tells on him to Cornwall. Because of that, Glouster is accused of being a traitor and his eyes are plucked. Being a considerate man, he hears of the problems facing Lear and decides to go to his aid. Regan plays a part of blinding him after discovering his mission of helping his father. It could be assumed that Regan and her husband compared her father’s blind reasoning to Glouster’s physical reasoning. The same case applies to the conduct that Glouster picks after being blind. First, he feels desperate and can only be guided. Simultaneously, Lear feels insane and feels like taking away his life (Fu par 9). It is unfortunate that both of them share similar characteristics besides their differences in blindness. That is; one is physically blind, and the other is spiritually blind.
Lear's changing relationship with Cordelia
Initially, Lear had a poor relationship with his daughter Cordelia. He goes to the extent of disowning her after she confesses frankly that she does not love her father. However, after Cordelia realizes that Regan and Goneril do not love him, he moves in search of Cordelia. It is encouraging that Cordelia confesses that she does not hate her father Lear besides him disowning her. When there is emerges war between France and British, Lear decides to accompany Cordelia. After they are defeated, Lear is just content that they are going to be jailed together. However, this reunion does not last long (Shakespeare 97). The French forces lose their battle to Regan leading to their capture and plan of execution. Accordingly, Cordelia is executed. However, the father dies of shock and disappointment of what has become of his family. Unfortunately, the entire family dies and leaves the two husbands to Regan and Goneril. It becomes too late for the reunion of Cordelia and her father Lear.
William Shakespeare’s play expresses tragedy in leadership and existence. That is; he expresses a situation that can lead to the impossibility of a hopeful future. By the use of the blind king, the play shows the extent to which loyalty count towards the success of any family. King Lear wished for the best for his entire family. However, Regan’s and Goneril’s discontent and lack of loyalty led to the downfall of the family. Ideally, poor coordination between leaders and their family members may yield to exaggerated grudges that ultimately lead to the death of the parties involved. In the play, the family diminishes and vanishes out of the disloyalty expressed by a portion of them. Lear’s dreams are also tarnished.
"The Tragedy of King Lear: Plot Summary." N.p., Web. <http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/kinglear/kinglearps.html>.
Shakespeare, William, Paul Scofield, Alec McCowen, and Kenneth Branagh. King Lear. Rehill, Surrey: Naxos AudioBooks, 2002.