King Lear: A Tragedy Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 28 December 2016

King Lear: A Tragedy

In Shakespeare’s, “King Lear” the structure and elements of tragedy help develop the theme of greed throughout the play. In the first act of the play the reader is introduced to a proble, King Lear is getting old and when he passes away he doesn’t want his three daughters fighting for his kingdom. King Lear decided to play a game with them asking them “Tell me, my daughters, which of you loves us most, that we may place. Our largest bounty with the largest merit.” The King is playing a very selfish game with his daughters he wants them to tell him how much they love him. Goneril and Regan go along with his game because they both are power hungry and want the biggest part of the kingdom. They even lie to Lear and tell him that they love him more than anything, even more than their husbands. Both sisters are power hungry and selfish willing to put power before the truth. Unlike their youngest sister Cordelia, she refused to lie to her father and told him she loved him how any child should love their father. King Lear was angered by this and disowned her vanishing her from the kingdom. Lears actions showed how greedy he was with his daughters love and he wanted to make sure that they spoke his love for him out loud.

An element of tragedy that appears in the play is peripeteia. This is shown when King Lear goes from being a powerful king to not being wanted by either of his daughters. Lear first arrived at Goneril place with his 100 man, although Goneril says”… Is most unseemly: hourly they break out In quarrels, bred by their unbounded riots..” Goneril doesn’t want Lear to have that many servants because she is afraid that she they will take over and over real her and she doesn’t’ want that because she wants to keep her power. Later King Lear goes to Regan’s palace but she doesn’t want him either. Both sisters have made up a plan to overrule Lear and make sure he doesn’t go back to ruling again. Goneril and Regan both are power hungry and are willing to pick power over family. Lear went from having all the love of his two daughters to being rejected by them in a series of tragic events.

In the last act of the play the reader experiences catharsis, Goneril poisons Regan and later feels the guilt so she kills herself. Cornelia is hung and King Lear dies from the news, The deaths of the family show how throughout the book they every member of the Lear family was driven by greed, except for Cornelia. The audience sees what happened to a family full of greed and that was power driven. In the end no one wins the tragedy takes over. The last act (V) is the closing of the play it shows the results of the events that had occur.

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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 28 December 2016

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