King Lear By William Shakespeare

King Lear is perfect William Shakespeare’s play that displays what power has impacts on those who wields it. It started when King Lear decided to divide his country to his children. As a result, it causes countless prices when he favored wickedness over truth. In this essay, I will be explaining in details of how power corrupts us to see the truth by using King Lear, Gloucester and Regan and Goneril.

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As a king, he has the power to impact on every person in his country.

The power blinded him from the truth when he banished Cordelia. “My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty according to my bond;” According to this quote, it is true that we all love our parents because it is our duty to do so, but we cannot love them more than our bonds. King Lear failed to understand it and got angry towards her, giving her nothing and leaving the country to the hands of false empty flatteries, Regan and Goneril. A loyal servant, Kent, warned Lear, he was set aside. “When power to flattery bows? … Thy safety being the motive… See better, Lear; and let me still remain the true blank of thine eye.” In this quote, Kent told Lear to realize the truth and insisted him to be by his side to right his wrongs, but Lear refused to do so.

Meanwhile, the story tells us about Gloucester who has 2 sons. He also has a great power and wealth. Unfortunately, he was also blinded from the truth when he believed the Edmund’s lies.

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“If the matter were good, my lord, I durst swear it were his; but, in respect of that, I would fain think it were not.” In this quote, Edmund lied that Edgar was plotting against him and Gloucester believed him since he was afraid of losing his power and wealth. This led him to chase after Edgar and later being thrown into the street with his eyes grouched out. Only when he lost his sight and wealth, he learnt the truth about Edgar.

Regan and Goneril were both wicked from the start and the power boosted their evilness and blinded them. “As you are old and reverend, you should be wise…” The quote shows that Goneril is rude towards her dad whom should be taken care of, but she treated him with disrespect. When Lear went to Regan, she acted like Goneril. “I pray you, father, being weak, seem so. If, till the expiration of your month, you will return and sojourn with my sister, …, said Regan.” This proves that they no longer love or respect their father once they have power and no longer treated Lear as a father or a king. Power has even turn them against each other, ending them dead.

Overall, the story is the perfect example of misusing power. Both King Lear and Gloucester were powerful at the start of the story. Because of their misusage of power, they suffered greatly and blinded them from the truth. Even for the sister, power corrupted both of them, turning against each other and disrespecting their father.

Updated: Feb 19, 2024
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King Lear By William Shakespeare. (2024, Feb 19). Retrieved from

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