Lear, Kent discussed on Lend Me Your Ears


The plays very i seen the earl of kent one of lear's most loyal subjects accuses him of madness when he casts cordelia out be can't unmannerly when lear is mad he says to plane this honors bound win majesty stoops to folly in other words when the head of state is insane a loyal subject speaks truth to power and the power that can't is speaking truth to is absolute if julius caesar takes place at a time of decaying institutions and richard the second shows institutions growing to check a bad ruler king lear takes place at a time that has no institutions other than the monarchy leers in charge he has the powers of god whatever he wants he gets here's david casten even the institutions within the early history plays they're they're limited they're inadequate monarchic power still supreme but there are voices that can counter that voice of the king lear there really is none and you're at the mercy of some problem fantasy of a king whose compassionate and caring and of course that's not we are certainly not lear for a long time in play lear is rash prone to rages and petulant even after he gives up the duties of having power what he calls the cares of state he still expects to be obeyed and revered particularly by his children but he isn't lear mistakenly believes that all of that love and deference and power came from him but it came from being king as one character points out to him very early on in the play now that he isn't king he's nothing he's powerless and that powerlessness causes him to go matt it starts when his daughters ask him why he needs all those nights following him around oh resume not the need a bassist beggars are in the poorest thing superfluous allow not nature more than nature needs men's life's as cheap as beasts soon he vowed revenge against his daughters he begins losing track of what he's saying yet he still desperately clings to power i will have such revenge is on you both that all the world shown i will do such things what they are yet i know not but they shall be the terrors of the earth you think all we know not weep i have full cause of weeping but this hardshell break into one hundred thousand flaws or air all weep who foolish go mad rather than accept that his daughters have one that has no power and he should give up his nights lear runs out into the storm and into madness this is what supreme power has done to king lear his entitlement has enfeebled him but once he loses all that power for good once he's out in that storm he regains his sanity and he starts to become self aware and here's what he describes as the source of his problems they fluttered me like a dog and told me i had white hairs in my beard air the black ones were there to say i am no to everything that i said i am no to was no good divinity as king lear was told that he was right even when he was wrong his every desire was instantly gratified they told him he was everything that the universe revolved around him and he believed them he only found out they were lying to him when he went out in the storm and suffered when the rain came to wet me once and the wind to make me chatter when the thunder would not peace at my bidding there i found him there i smelled them out go to they are not men of the words they told me i was everything is a lie i am not a goop roof and in that storm as he approaches the hovel where he will take shelter a remarkable thing happens for the first time in the entire play lear expresses concern for another character offering the fool the chance to get out of the storm before him then the loan onstage he starts to consider the other people might be out in the rain too poor naked wretches where so ere you are that bide the pelting of this pitiless storm how show your house lewis heads and unfed sides your looped and windowed ragged nece defend you from season such as these lear experiences empathy for the first time as helen shaw puts it he invites in the idea of.

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