Human Nature and Discontent in King Lear – Unfinished
The Elizabethans thought, or pretended to think, that the natural world reflected a hierarchy that mirrored good federal government and stable monarchy. Even our scientific age discuss “laws of nature” and “great federal government through excellent laws.” Shakespeare’s age contrasted “nature” and art, just as one can think about an important “humanity” contrasted with culture. Too, Shakespeare’s era identified “natural” and “abnormal” habits; the latter would consist of mistreating household members, opposing cultural, political, religious, and social “standards”, in addition to presenting the everlasting question of fate.
King Lear determines familial relationships and their defects, concerns whether human society is the product of nature or technology, and whether humanity is essentially self-centered or generous. More than simply a constant style in the play, this concept of “nature” in society and practice reveals the core of humanity. In King Lear, nature itself is likewise an object of debate. Frequently used to recognize things that are pure, real and tranquil, nature is known likewise as a device utilized for the harsh and explicit actions by all things evil or regrettable.
King Lear provides a dichotomy of excellent and wicked, and Shakespeare hopes the reader will consider the harsher, two-faced qualities of nature in his tragedy. The connection between people and the “natural world” is typically neglected. Why? Perhaps the principle of a resemblance in between humans and brute nature drives away “civility” or advance in society; this explains the extreme usage of animal imagery as offense in the play. Thus, it is reasonable to ask, what constitutes this highly offending and rejected “unnatural” behaviour?
According to passages in King Lear, the most typical fault of and insult to a human, is to ill-treat household, and more particularly, effective and royal household. This is apparent when a very offended Lear condemns his daughter Cordelia’s unsatisfactory praise, to her suitor, the King of France: “? T’avert your liking a more worthier way than on a rascal whom Nature is embarrassed?” (Act 1, Scene 1, line 210) Here, King Lear practically personifies “Nature”, and as something capable of passing judgement: a stringent department between the proper and acceptable action versus the intolerable one.
The concept of nature representing justice and truth is also apparent in the sub-plot when Gloucester denounces Edgar as his son, followed by his praise for Edmund’s loyalty: “? Loyal and natural boy, I’ll work the means to make thee capable? ” (Act 2, Scene 1, line 83) Thus, the notion of nature as a compliment or praise is similar to society’s view of normalcy. Traditionally and contemporarily speaking, tolerance and acceptance within a community is strictly connected with standardization, and predictability.
The Fool, with his sly and witty remarks, portrays a perfect example of this unpredictable and unexpected speech: “? Truth’s a dog must to kennel; he must be whipp’d out when the lady’s Brach may stand by th’fire and stink.. ” (Act 1, Scene 4, line 105) Throughout the play, Edmund’s connection with nature is extremely confusing, and uncommon in his class, deeming his very existence “unnatural” from the start. As the plot progresses, his role swings back and forth from “natural” to “unnatural”, depending on his actions.
This is somewhat unusual, as most characters are classified as good or bad, natural or natural, within their first few lines in the play, and here the reader is forced to constantly make assumptions and form opinions about Edmund. More obvious attempts at opposing the “norms” in King Lear include Cordelia’s modest praise of her father, the Duke of Albany’s eventual recognition and action against the ploys of his wife and her sister, and Kent’s protective disobedience to Lear.
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