The Selfish King in Shakespeare’s King Lear
In Shakespeare’s King Lear a king is stripped of his land, wealth, soldiers, and all of his power because he is stubborn, egocentric, and unkind. Other than losing money and power he loses his three daughters as well. Lear?s pride is so overwhelming that he is unwilling to allow anyone to contradict him. If anyone (besides his fool) even remotely hints that his actions were wrong he gets unnecessarily enraged. King Lear acts very harshly to his daughters and should receive the appropriate punishment. Although King Lear completely deserves what he gets and has put his youngest daughter through so much torture, he is not entirely awful. He is a respectable king who people look up to.When Kent informs Lear of his drastic mistake Lear?s pride takes control of him and he banishes his loyal friend, Kent. Kent is almost like a brother to Lear. He is Lear?s most trusty friend and basically the king?s right hand man. Because Lear is so arrogant and proud, he will not accept any disagreement from anyone. Kent explains to Lear that he has made a mistake in banishing Cordelia and Lear explodes with fury at Kent. This is the response Kent receives in return for correcting the king. ?To come betwixt our sentence and our power, which nor our nature nor our place can bear, our potency made good, take thy reward: ?turn thy hated back upon our kingdom. If ?thy banished trunk be found in our dominions, the moment is thy death.? (I.1.194-202). King Lear is saying that Kent is now a traitor, and since he points out a mistake in the king?s judgment he should be banished. If Kent shows his body in Lear?s kingdom once again h…
…ecisions. When Kent reveals that banishing Cordelia was an unwise decision Lear exiles Kent, his most trusted friend. There are many terrible deeds that Lear commits, but also has several unpleasant ones committed on him by his daughters. Even though there are horrible things done to king Lear, the terrible things that Lear do outweighs them. Lear deserves his punishment, should live up to his mistakes, and do whatever he can to correct those mistakes.
Works Cited and Consulted
Schneider, Ben R. Jr. “King Lear in Its Own Time: The Difference That Death Makes.” Early Modern Literary Studies 1 (1995).
Shakespeare, William. “King Lear.” William Shakespeare: the Tragedies, the Poems. Ed. John D. Wilson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2006.
Stern, Jeffrey. ?King Lear: The Transference of the Kingdom.? Shakespeare Quarterly, 1990. Folger Shakespeare Library.