Essay, Research Paper: King Lear Play

Shakespeare: King Lear

Free Shakespeare: King Lear research papers were donated by our members/visitors and are presented free of charge for informational use only. The essay or term paper you are seeing on this page was not produced by our company and should not be considered a sample of our research/writing service. We are neither affiliated with the author of this essay nor responsible for its content. If you need high quality, fresh and competent research / writing done on the subject of Shakespeare: King Lear, use the professional writing service offered by our company.


In the play King Lear written by William Shakespeare a collection of images are
used to express different points Shakespeare is trying to relay to his audience.
One reoccurring image that kept popping up was animal images. Shakespeare
displays these animal images when King Lear and many of the other characters in
the play talk about Goneril and Regan. The animals that Lear and the other
characters compare the two sisters to are not very pretty. They are compared to
the likes of tigers, serpents, and even monsters. These reoccurring images have
an important idea behind them that Shakespeare hopes to communicate his readers.
Shakespeare waste no time in comparing Goneril and Regan to animals. When Lear
parts from Goneril at the end of Act I, after she has sneered at him and
diminished the number of his retainers, he calls her a “Detested kite” (I.
iv. 269.). He also compares her to “the sea-monster” (I. iv. 268.), by which
he possibly means a mythological monster that would betray its own father. King
Lear also comments on his daughters ingratitude using animal imagery when he
said,” How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child”
(I. iv. 295-296.). Lear comments once more on his daughter’s “monster
ingratitude” (I. v. 40.). Lear is showing how he feels about how his daughters
are treating him by comparing them to unpleasant animals. Lear in scene IV has a
quarrel with his other daughter, Regan, where again he uses animal images to
show how his daughters are sinking below manhood to animals. Lear seeks out his
daughter, Regan, at Gloucester’s castle, and finds out that her husband has
put his faithful friend Kent in the stocks and that both husband and wife have
retired to bed and do not wish to see him. When Regan finally comes down, she
tells him “You should be ruled, and led by some discretion that discerns your
state better than yourself” (II. iv. 147-149). Lear responds by saying
“struck me with her tongue, most serpentlike, upon the very heart. (II. iv.
159-160). Lear here again is describing Regan to a serpent, which is a large
poisonous snake. Both daughters seem to him now like unusually cruel animals.
They show this when they shut him out into the stormy night. In the storm scene,
Lear’s hurt from his daughters affect his attitude to the mad Tom of Bedlam
(Edgar). He thinks, on the analogy of his own suffering, that his daughters must
have abused Poor Tom. Nothing else could have brought him to such a pathetic
state. This reminds Lear of his own “pelican daughters” (III. iv. 75). This
is an allusion to the medieval belief that pelican young fed on the blood of the
parent bird. This analogy compares to how Lear’s daughters are feeding on him
giving them the control of the kingdom. Shakespeare uses these animal images
throughout his play to describe Goneril and Regan. It will be noticed that most
of the animals used in these comparisons are unpleasant (kite, serpent, tigers,
pelicans, foxes, and even monsters). Shakespeare is showing that the sisters are
sinking from the level of man, who stood between the angels and the animals, to
the level of the animals. They have become like some of the most unpleasant
birds and animals of prey. In their cruelty and unnaturalness they are less than
human.
3
3
Good or bad? How would you rate this essay?
Help other users to find the good and worthy free term papers and trash the bad ones.
Like this term paper? Vote & Promote so that others can find it

Get a Custom Paper on Shakespeare: King Lear:

Free papers will not meet the guidelines of your specific project. If you need a custom essay on Shakespeare: King Lear: , we can write you a high quality authentic essay. While free essays can be traced by Turnitin (plagiarism detection program), our custom written papers will pass any plagiarism test, guaranteed. Our writing service will save you time and grade.




Related essays:

0
0
Shakespeare: King Lear / King Lear Stupidity
There has always been a perpetual jester in a kingly court. Often he has provided entertainment via his superficial jokes and has won the good graces of his master by creating an atmosphere of ebulli...
2656 views
0 comments
0
0
Shakespeare: King Lear / King Lear Vision
In Shakespeare's tragedy, King Lear, a prominent reoccuring theme is vision and it’s relovence. The characters, Lear and Gloucester are Shakespeare's principal means of portraying this theme. Althoug...
2563 views
0 comments
0
0
Shakespeare: King Lear / King Lear
"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive". Sir Walter Scott may not have intended to describe the tangled web of secrets that fuels Shakespeare's tragedy "Kin...
2874 views
0 comments
0
6
Shakespeare: King Lear / King Lear
Throughout the first Act of King Lear there is one overwhelming topic, which can not be overlooked. That is to say that the two main families in this play, Lears' and Gloucesters', are both following...
2687 views
0 comments
1
1
Shakespeare: King Lear / King Lear
Shakespeare's dynamic use of irony in King Lear aids the microcosmic illustration of not only 16th century Britain, but of all times and places. The theme that best develops this illustration is the ...
2962 views
0 comments