King Lear essay, exploring the notion of hope.

Words: 1014
Pages: 5

“By considering the dramatic effects of King Lear, evaluate the view that despite the appalling suffering, the world of the play is not without hope.”

In the world of King Lear, being a shakespearean tragedy, suffering, loss, and injustice are all factors often expected before an audience enters the bottomless pit of complicated characters, varying agendas, and Shakespearean english these productions usually employed. However, despite its melancholy undertone and lack of warmer lighting gels on stage, King Lear is not without hope.

Shakespeare in Lear, presents the notion that characters in great authority force suffering upon others in an effort to retain power, admiration, and status. Initially, Lear himself demonstrates this,
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The allegiances formed in this scene contrast one another, clearly demonstrating to the audience their various agendas, and allows the audience to understand the alliances of characters without any dialogue required.

Following on from this notion of unspoken alliances, characters relationships inspire hope in the audience as well. While Lear is initially the main spark of suffering for the other characters, and despite the fact that his own suffering is self inflicted, the audience does sympathize for his position amongst the rest. The “infirmity of his age” (1:1:284) results in his malicious, self satisfying, daughters manipulating him with ease, and abusing the power he entrusts onto them. But in the same way we see Kent step in for Cordelia, we see him return to aid Lear at this stage in the play as well. The strength of there relationship is seen in Kent’s unfaltering loyalty for his King: “If thou canst serve where thou dost stand condemned, so may it come thy master, whom thou lov’st, shall find thee full of labours.” (1:4:6) and as a result does instill hope into the hearts of the audience that Kent may in fact put things right.

Suffering comes in many forms during King Lear, however despite the darkly lit stage, black costumes of the characters, and general tragic story Lear follows - hope