Sample King Lear Essay

August 26, 2020 by Essay Writer

Act V of King Lear

King Lear is a play which is full of unnecessary disasters caused by human cruelty leading to repeated deaths. The succession of disastrous events in the play raises a critical question as to whether or not there is justice in the world or whether the world has turned to be such hostile to humankind. Various actions depicting selfish ambitions can be seen succeeding each other closely together as in Act V of the play. This essay discusses the various structural relations between various actions in Act V of the play, King Lear.

Jealousy is conspicuous in Act V Scene 1 of the play. Goneril is actually obsessed with jealousy towards Edmund and Regan has detected it. Such jealousy made the relationship and alliance between Regan and Goneril to decay. Meanwhile, Albany stresses that he has to suspend his principles that were highlighted in Act IV Scene 2 so that he can maintain his integrity to the British Kingdoms.

There is no doubt that such rivalry has caused many challenges to the way in which people.

For example, Edgar had to disguise himself as a beggar as he approaches Albany. Edgar then presents a letter to Albany from Goneril so as to take it to Edmund that he had intercepted from Oswald. Edgar asks Albany to read the letter before the battle as Edgar says that the British side wins. This is a clear indication that the jealousy that developed between Goneril and Edmund was detrimental to the French Army in the battle. False winning was accorded to the British side.

It is also seen that treachery develops following jealousy. As Edgar delivered the letter to Albany, Edgar will have granted Albany the full view of the character of his wife. Delivery of the letter also indicated how the treachery of Goneril would destroy their marriage as well as the bonds of family. For this, Edgar tries much he can to plot evil revenge to his brother. At this point, it is clear that treachery of Goneril not only affects their marriage but also is almost causing serious harm to the familial bonds through the revenge that Edgar is planning.

Treachery is also witnessed when Edmund was alone on stage and was explaining how he had sworn his love to Regan and Goneril and makes humor on who was convenient for him to marry. Edmund tries to leave the problem pending by revealing if British is to win the battle as Albany wishes to spear Cordelia and Lear, which he will never do, it then means that the letter was false and filled with selfish ambitions. The deceit of Edmund to the two sisters shows how he was able to misjudge. The opportunism of Edmund is seen as being worse than the treacherous acts of Goneril and Regan. It can be seen from the scene that treachery could easily lead to misinterpretation of information which could also cause dangerous acts as suicide and death.

Indeed, in scene 2 of the Act, a gentleman runs to Edgar with a bloody knife which he claims to have taken from Goneril. Goneril had confessed that she poisoned Reagan and the committed suicide with the knife. It was upon receiving this message that Edmund confessed that he wanted to marry both Regan and Goneril. Therefore, all three have to be united in death. To some extent, it can be said that treachery could have saved the situation. This is because, if Cordelia had spoken something to the sister, the lives of the three (Edmund, Regan, and Goneril) would have been saved. It would be seen as a treacherous act but it could have saved lives. The audience is left in confusion as to whether or not treachery was right in this case but all the same, the news would have reached both Goneril and Regan and they would have still killed themselves.

Familial relationships are also affected by the treacherous acts and jealousy in the play. Despite what they have gone through in the battle, Edgar still leads Gloucester to the shade so as to find rest during the time of the battle. Upon hearing this, Gloucester declares that he would wish to die and rot immediately. Although Edgar shows love and care to the father, the important action that is shown in the play was not war but the familial relationship. It only shows how war can break the familial bonds and when the bond is destroyed, then death comes.

The greed of power is also intertwined in the disastrous acts in the play. Edmund had ordered Cordelia and Lear to be captured. The two consoles themselves that they would enjoy being in prison and that there is no need for them to request seeing Goneril and Regan ADDIN . Reunion of Lear and Cordelia in the prison seemed to be an opportunity that he only though to get by giving up power which could also free him from the political responsibilities. The assumption of Lear was that Edmund would treat his prisoners well as it has been the custom and tradition. However, Edmund is only concerned with power and not tradition. Edmund plays the greed of power to the extent of using others such as Captain to corrupt the prisoners.

This greed of power is seen to lead to death. A messenger reports that Edmund is dead but Albany brushes the messenger off. Albany states that they will return all the power to Lear for the rest of his life. Albany also says that revenge will be done accordingly, implying that more death would be expected. However, Lear is also filled with grief against Cordelia and faints to death. What Lear has passed through makes him feel that there is nothing worth living.

From the actions in Act V of King Lear, it can be seen that death has always been the result of jealousy, treachery, and greed of power. These actions have been closely related together to the extent that the audience cannot take it. Nonetheless, what matters to the audience is that death was always the end result of the evil actions disastrous actions that happened in the play.

Work Cited

  • ADDIN Mendeley Bibliography CSL_BIBLIOGRAPHY Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of King Lear. Edited by Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine, 1606.
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