King Lear

King Lear The Development Of Gloucester, Albany and Lear People going through changes throughout their life is a universally known concept. In many novels the authors attempt to trace the development of the characters. By showing the evolution of the characters is what sometimes determines the quality of the literary piece. It is on the agenda of great writing critics to critique the authors development of characters. Many lessons have been taught on the tragedy King Lear, by William Shakespeare, because of Shakespeares superb development of his characters. He traces the psychological evolution of the Earl of Gloucester, the Duke of Albany and King Lear; from being irrational to sensible, subservient to self-determined and oblivious to observant respectfully. A clear evolution takes place in the nature of the Earl of Gloucester from the beginning of the story until the end as he changes from being irrational to sensible.

When the story begins the earl is introduced as an irrational noble. The reason he is branded as irrational is because of his sudden alignment with his bastard son, Edmund, against his loyal and loving son, Edgar. Despite being taken cared by Edgar for the past seven years, the instant Gloucester is given a forged letter by Edmund revealing a conspiracy against the Earl by Edgar, he is instantly outraged against the legitimate son and allies himself with Edmund. The fact that Gloucester does not attempt to rationally find the truth about the conspiracy he is introduced as a foolish person. By not rationally justifying the situation even further shows his absurdity for it shows how he is unable to see through the cynicism of Edmund. However as the story lines develop so does Glocester. Towards the end of the story Glocester strives to discover the accuracy of the letter and plot.

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After concluding that all this time he had been wrong he is blinded by an enemy of his. His blindness symbolically shows the final phase of Gloucesters evolution for it strengthens the fact that he is now logical and perceptive. Hence Shakespeare traces the development of Gloucester from being irrational to sensible. Shakespeare also traces the psychological progression of the Duke of Albany. As the husband of Goneril, one of Lears daughters, his wifes strong ambitious nature overwhelms him so much that he follows his wife full heatedly.

As the story begins Albany is participating in his wifes plan to rule Britain. When Albany says to Goneril, I fear your disposition(3.4) one can immediately see how Albanys unassertive nature is engulfed by Gonerils aggressive character. As the story progresses so does Albany. When he says to Edgar, one of the people standing in the way of his wifes plans, Let sorrow split my heart, if ever I did hate thee or thy father,(4.3) his subservient nature is released for this quote shows how since he apologizes to his wifes enemy he does not tolerate his wifes authority over him. He now becomes more self-determined. He acts on his own will instead of taking orders from his spouse.

Clearly Albany transforms from a subordinate character to a self-determined one. Probably the character that evolves the most dramatically is King Lear, the king of Britain, for he develops from being oblivious to becoming observant. Because he allows his ego and external things to determine his decisions Lear is characterized as oblivious for it shows how he allows those factors to prohibit him from making decisions based on the facts. In a beginning scene Lear holds a contest between his three daughters to determine which one of them would be his successor. The way Lear would determine who would take over was to see which one of the girls most strongly expressed their love for him a true sign of an egotistical person.

Two of the daughters sarcastically but believably told their father how much they loved him in order to receive his approval. The youngest, however, told him that his contest was immoral and that she would not act for him as her sisters did. It is necessary to note that prior to this scene that daughter, Cordelia, was most loved by Lear and most suitable for the position. Once she does not play up to him like her sisters, she is disowned by Lear. He then crowns the two other sisters as co-rulers of Britain out of spite to Cordelia. Clearly his deflated ego drives Lear to act foolishly and therefore he is oblivious to the prior loyalty of Cordelia.

Once he makes his final decision he immediately realizes that he has made a big mistake. In his discussion to Albany, Lear, self-pitied, says Detested kit! thou liest.. How ugly didst thou show in Cordelia.. Oh Lear, Lear Lear ..let thy folly in(1.5) proving that Lear immediately recognizes his mistake for he is saying that the two daughters were only taunting their father when they participated in his contest and only in it to take over the kingdom. Lears awareness of his error goes so far as him sincerely trying to rectify it.

Clearly Shakespeare shows the evolution of Lears character from being unaware and oblivious to his situation to his becoming perceptive and cognizant to his predicament. In conclusion Shakespeare develops the characters of Gloucester, Albany and Lear: from irrational to sensible, subservient to self-determined and from oblivious to observant respectively. One of the reasons King Lear has been considered one of the greatest literary pieces is because Shakespeare superbly shows the development of these characters. It is the progression of his characters that makes the tragedy so interesting and enjoyable. The concept that people go through changes thoughout their life is an underlying theme throughout the play. English Essays.

king lear

Shakespeare’s King Lear
William Shakespeare’s King Lear had downfalls in character which later on
caused him to suffer extreme consequences. if anyone knows the true meaning of
suffering it is King Lear.


King Lear’s downfalls are his pride, selfishness, and blindness to truth.

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Pride as one of Lear’s first downfalls, in the beginning Lear disowns his lovely daughter
Cordelia, because Lear is to blind to realize that cordelia loves her father for who he is
and NOT what he has in his possession. Lear sees his daughters for what they have as
far as quantity not quality. This is his downfall of selfishness. Lear offers his two
greedy and selfish daughters, Coneril, and Regan his entire kingdom, simply because
he is so damn conceded and thinks he is so great that he can not possibly see anyone
not loving him, and what he owns as far as land and power. His greedy daughters
realize this and then decide to kiss a little of their father’s butt. Cordelia, and Regan
go and kiss their father’s butt hoping to get all his power, and his kingdom.
On the other hand, his one daughter who loves him for what he is, not what he
is or has, realizes that she must play on her fathers side just to receive a little respect
from the king.
Lear, by toying with loved one’s emotions endues consequences upon
himself. Even at his age ,he was still perfectly capable of living up to his duties
as king. A tragic mistake Lear made was dividing his kingdom between his two greedy
and evil daughters, and by dis owning his only true daughter, whom he left with nothing.


After a short while Lear starts to become insane, his mind begins to slip caused
Marriner 2
by losing both his kingdom as well as his daughters who were supposed to have loved him.


Lear slowly became mad, after all it is one thing to lose his kingdom, and his daughters
but Lear had a rough time dealing with himself. This was another downfall Lear
encountered.
The King had made many mistakes in his lifetime, especially with his family.
He gave his two nasty,greedy,evil daughters the kingdom and all his power. As he got
older he realized it was a big mistake to do what he did. Cornelia, even though she
had been banished from his life, she still loved him very much. Lear then became insane
after he realized he wrongly judged his daughters. Finding and learning that Cordelia
never wronged him for his doings, Lear gets some of his mind back. In the end Lear and
his only true to the heart daughter join hands one last time. As a result of his actions
Cordelia is hanged, and Lear dies of heat torn apart. As you can clearly see Lear
even though a king, he has suffered a great deal. The King had opened his heart
to lies, deception, and flattery. especially to Goneril, and Regan. He punished those who
spoke truth and were faithful, like his faithful and true daughter Cordelia, who never
loved her father for what he had but for who he was.