Psychology of King Lear
It is adamant that the psychology of King Lear is quite disturbing in many ways throughout the play. He struggles with his own thoughts of conspicuous thoughts and ravages around the kingdom with a delusion of who his daughter is and who his servant is as well as how his family is implicated in the kingdom and how he sees his family being implicated in the kingdom . Therefore, it is reasonable to say that King Lear is psychotic or, in other words, mad in his own way and since he is aging, the mental illness he suffers from is only increasing rather than deteriorating and that is exactly how the whole play becomes a show of madmen roaming around the kingdom, accusing people needlessly and showing their wrath on innocence with no necessary reasoning.
It is amazingly hard to learn where in the play King Lear the saint gets to be frantic. The irregular conduct, the compelling peevishness, the display of disinhibited contemplations may be the harbinger of psychosis or his premorbid characteristics. At the point when the Duke of Kent argues tolerance in Lear for Lear's most youthful little girl Cordelia, he banishes them from his domain and blasts:
Come not between the dragon and his wrath.
I loved her most and thought to set my rest
On her kind nursery.
Hence and avoid my sight!”
At the point when Goneril, his eldest little girl, urges him to decrease his entourage of knights and orderlies, Lear raves against her:
‘Degenerate bastard, I'll not trouble thee;
Detested kite, thou liest!
Hear nature; hear, dear goddess; hear!
Suspend thy purpose, if thou didst intend
Into her womb convey sterility;
Dry up in her the organs of increase;
And from her derogate body never spring
A babe to honour her! If she must teem,
Create her child of spleen, that it may live
And be a thwart disnatured torment to her.
Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth,
With cadent tears fret channels in her cheeks,
Turn all her mother's pains and benefits
How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
Amazing scorn displayed by the father exemplified in the vituperative condemnations in the vicinity of the child in-law is by all accounts exceptionally unseemly conduct to understate the obvious.
Lear communicates the anticipating of his aggregate breaking down in numerous articulations:
“Does any here know me? This is not Lear:
Does Lear walk thus, speak thus? Where are his eyes?
Either his notion weakens, his discernings
Are lethargied - Ha! waking? ‘tis not so.
Who is it that can tell me who I am?”
In one particular line, he says:
“O let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven!
Keep me in temper; I would not be mad!”
He continues his psychotic behavior in other lines such as:
“O Lear, Lear, Lear!
Beat at this gate that let thy folly in
[striking his head]
And thy dear judgement out!”
Perplexity and trepidation of approaching madness are not phenomenal in persons winding up with genuine mental issue like dementia.
Lear's forthcoming franticness is clear to others and to himself. At the point when Cordelia knows about his wanderings on the heath amid the serious storm she shouts:
“Alack, ‘tis he! Why, he was met even now
As mad as the vexed sea, singing aloud,
Crowned with rank fumiter and furrow-weeds,
With hardocks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo-flowers,
Darnel and all the idle weeds that grow
In our sustaining corn. A century send forth;
Search every acre in the high-grown field,
And bring him to our eye.”
It is fascinating to note that the blossoms enlivening King Lear have a specific restorative esteem in treating madness. On listening to Lear's ramblings Gloucester yells:
“O ruined piece of Nature!”
In the meandering addresses of King Lear we could see his striking visual mental trips, punning and rhyming and the daydreams of glory:
“Contending with the fretful elements,
Bids the wind blow the earth into the sea,
Or swell the curled waters ‘bove the main,
That things might change or cease; tears his white hair,
Which the impetuous blasts with eyeless rage
Catch in their fury and make nothing of;
Strives in his little world of man to out-storm
The to-and-fro-conflicting wind and rain.
This night, wherein the cub-drawn bear would couch,
The lion and belly-pinched wolf
Keep their fur dry, unbonneted he runs,
And bids what will take all.”
Then he continues to ramble in his psychotic behavior and proves that he is mentally ill when he says:
“Nature's above art in that respect. There's your press-money.
That fellow handles his bow like a crow-keeper:
Draw me a clothier's yard. Look, look, a mouse!
Peace, peace; this piece of toasted cheese will do't. There' my gauntlet;
I'll prove it on a giant. Bring up the brown bills.
O, well flown, bird; i'th' clout, i'th' clout: hewgh!
Give the word.”
King Lear performs a mock trial with all kinds of adulterers involved, in which he shows that he is adamant of mocking people who are adultering amidst his reign, when his own family is deluded to the cause of adultery. Shows how the psychotic behavior of King Lear carries on in when he says:
“Ay, every inch a king!
When I do stare, see how the subject quakes.
I pardon that man's life. What was thy cause?
Thou shalt not die. Die for adultery? No!
The wren goes to 't and the small gilded fly
Does lecher in my sight.
Let copulation thrive: for Gloucester's bastard son
Was kinder to his father than my daughters
Got ‘tween the lawful sheets.
Lear misidentifies the Duke of Gloucester as his girl Goneril with a white patch of facial hair.
At the point, when Cordelia meets Lear after his salvage from the heath, he neglects to remember her as he is confused and dazzled by many other types of disfigurations. Again this proves that Lear is psychotic as well as considers having a memory loss disorder when he has the following conversation with Cordelia:
“CORD Sir, do you know me?
LEAR You are a spirit, I know; when did you die?”
Lear communicates his perplexity as well as disarray in his own particular words; his cognitive troubles are effortlessly perceivable to him:
“Pray do not mock me;
I am a very foolish old man,
Fourscore and upward, not an hour more nor less;
And, to deal plainly,
I fear I am not in my perfect mind.
Me thinks I should know you and know this man,
Yet I am doubtful: for I am mainly ignorant
What place this is; and all the skill I have
Remembers not these garments, nor I know not
Where I did lodge last night”.
Lear continues to mock himself and his ownpsychotic behavior in other circumstances throughout the play as he says at one point:
“LEAR Am I in France?
KENT In your own kingdom, sir.”
An alternate occurrence of the crazy conduct of King Lear is seen in the counterfeit trial of his girls in the form of absentia:
“LEAR I'll see their trial first. Bring in their evidence.
[to Edgar] Thou robed man of justice, take thy place;
[to the Fool] And thou, his yokefellow of equity,
Bench by his side.
[to Kent] You are o'th' commission;
Sit you too.”
King Lear continues this sort of behavior in other forms throughout the mock trials such as he eludes to say at one situation:
“LEAR Arraign her first; ‘tis Goneril. I here take my oath
Before this honourable assembly,
She kicked the poor king, her father.”
He continues this behavior as he makes it ever knowing that he has a mental illness of being psychotic from the very onslaught that reigned over his kingdom in the play. When he says the following, he just solidifies the fact that he is psychotic in all aspects:
“LEAR And here's another, whose warped looks proclaim
What stone her heart is made on. Stop her there!
Arms, arms, sword, fire! Corruption in the place!
False justicer, why hast thou let her scape?”
King Lear is a judgment of short receptive psychosis with a foundation of natural mental issue, maybe of a vascular inception, exemplified by the King's visual pipedreams and an implication of a stroke just before Lear's passing. Also, the instance of King Lear warrants the conclusion of bipolar issues, latest scene manic which is serious with insane gimmicks of different variances. The manic scene was essential and the psychosis created on its experience, incited by the expanding tumult and physical effort . As mentioned in the introduction and thesis statement of the essay, the play turns out to be a dwelling of madmen instructed with the tendency to lavish around woman, commit adultery while have a feeling of psychotic behaviour present at all times. The only thing that makes this entire fracas of King Lear’s play look any decent is the magnificent play of Shakespeare into the eyes of the most notorious people that may live in the real world. He manipulates King Lear’s personality in such a way that it drives the audience into predicting the outcome of the entire play in so many random scenarios that it is possible to associate each prediction to the play’s outcome in a lucrative manner.
Berry, Ralph. “The Lear World: A Study of ‘King Lear’ in Its Dramatic Context .” University of Toronto Quarterly (1978): 406-408.
Shakespeare, William. The Oxford Shakespeare: The History of King Lear: The 1608 Quarto. Oxford University Press, 2000.
Woudhuysen, H. R. “Shakespeare in Shorthand: The Textual Mystery of "King Lear." (review).” Shakespeare Quarterly (2011): 604-609.