Mr. AmsteyFree Response Essay
Through King Lear’s carefully articulated metaphor, he states that the rich are able to break the “lance of justice” just by being rich and powerful, whereas those armed in rags (alluding to the poor), are easily pierced by “a pigmy’s straw” because “through tatter’d clothes small vices do appear”. I whole heartedly agree with King Lear’s statement, for it is clearly evident throughout history that the rich have been able to break the law and sin, with little to no consequences.
When first reading King Lear’s statement, I immediately thought of monopolies and trusts. Perhaps the most famous monopolies of all time date back to the age of industry giants Rockefeller and Carnegie. Even though there were set anti-trust acts in place such as the Sherman Anti-Trust act, Rockefeller and Carnegie were still able to swallow up smaller businesses and basically run their industries. We can easily equate their dominance and evasion of the law with their wealth. In this case, power and wealth are interchangeable for power equals wealth and wealth equals power. If it had not been for their extreme power and wealth, Rockefeller and Carnegie would have easily been convicted of breaking the anti-trusts acts in place at the time. We recently covered this time period in My AP U.S History class. Reading excerpts from small business owners and how their business was taken over by Rockefeller’s oil monopoly or Carnegies steel monopoly made it clear, that “sin plated with gold” could always break the “lance of justice”.
A more recent, but ever more glaring example of King Lear’s statement can be seen in the O.J Simpson trial. O.J Simpson, former NFL running back and Hall of Famer, was being tried for murder. Even though there was a substantial amount of evidence to prove that he was guilty, he was declared innocent. Although one cannot be 100 percent certain of his guiltiness, this is another great example of how wealth and power allowed someone to escape justice. Even though O.J escaped being convicted, he is now living an unpleasant life full of judgment, hatred and numerous legal troubles.
A more recent example