Examining The Theme Of Pride In King Lear English Literature Essay

The subject of pride plays a cardinal function in finding the concluding denouement of the drama. Indeed, it is the beginning of both Lear ‘s ruin and the subsequent ruin of his land. Lear ‘s pride is non in isolation nevertheless ; Regan, Goneril, Edmund and arguably Cordelia ‘s pride besides play an intrinsic portion in the death of Lear ‘s land. Hence, pride is a outstanding and go oning subject throughout King Lear and in kernel exemplifies both the ‘good ‘ characters and the ‘evil ‘ characters.

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Despite Lear ‘s evident transmutation as the drama develops, he however maintains a certain impression of pride. Without uncertainty, Lear is inexorable that he strikes back at his two deceiving girls through sterilizing them ; Lear wishes that Goneril is unable to hold kids: “ Dry up in her the variety meats of addition ” . This emphasises that he still blames his daughters- his pride is yet once more blinding him from seeing that it was his egotistic ‘love trial ‘ which brought about his ruin. Lear ‘s compulsion with justness continues as he “ anatomizes ” his girls in the mock test he enacts, which is a lampoon of the ‘love trial ‘ , in Act one. Once once more, whilst Lear can now see the true character of his girls, he ne’er even contemplates that he had a function in his ruin. More significantly, Lear ‘s pride is shown through his sympathy towards Poor Tom. Lear is non concerned with himself who is now “ houseless ” but instead with the “ bare wretches ” such as Poor Tom. Whilst this demonstrates Lear ‘s newfound unimportance, it is besides declarative that Lear still feels more worthy than Poor Tom ; Lear has the desire to go an “ unaccommodated adult male ” through depriving off his clothes- yet this ultimately suggests that he still feels he has more position. In this regard, it poses the inquiry of whether Lear has learnt from his experience at all.

Edmund ‘s pride instead, consequences in him virtually traveling to any agencies to stamp down his bastardy: “ all with me ‘s meet… that I can manner suit ” . Ironically, nevertheless, Edmund ‘s address, “ why asshole? ” in Act two, decries his stereotype ; yet he later conforms to this stereotype through his behavior. Consequently, Edmund epitomises Machiavellian qualities, which was a repeating subject in Jacobean play. All of Edmund ‘s beliefs are summarised in his monologue in Scene two of Act one, whereby he rejects the hierarchy that has made his brother and father comfortable. However, Edmund ‘s disapproval stems from his pride ; in world Edmund besides wants to win in society ‘s footings. Surely, the importance Edmund places on position is illuminated by the manner he unfeelingly frames Edgar- this goes against natural order and this indicates how Edmund feels his societal position is of more importance that his relationship with his brother and male parent. In many ways, Gloucester, Edgar and Edmund merely echo Lear ‘s quandary. Furthermore, it is possible that Lear, Kent and Cordelia represent the old ways of the monarchy and societal order, while Edmund, Goneril and Regan represent a new hierarchy, which adheres to Machiavellian codes- these three are after all arguably synonymous with the Satan. Without uncertainty, Shakespeare was cognizant of the societal displacement that was happening when he wrote many of his dramas and this may good be a mention to it. Regardless of Shakespeare ‘s motor nevertheless, it does supply cursing cogent evidence of Edmund ‘s pride and the blunt effects of it.

Similar to Edmund, Regan and Goneril ‘s chase of dissoluteness consequences in calamity. Their pride is apparent through their flattery towards their male parent in the gap scene- Goneril provinces that she loves her male parent more than “ eyesight, infinite, and autonomy ” . This highlights how, like Edmund, Goneril and Regan are willing to travel to extreme lengths to accomplish their end of deriving regulation over England. Indeed, their pride consequences in the barbarian intervention of Lear in Act two, when he is left in “ the hell-black dark ” of the storm. Again, this goes against natural order and reveals that they feel their position is more of import than their male parent ‘s wellbeing. The impression “ all cruels else subscribe ” may stand for how on such a awful dark any other animal would hold pitied Lear and given him shelter, but non his girls who are going progressively sadistic in the pursuit for regulation over England. Basically, the two girls are personifications of evil- they have no scruples, merely greed and this greed enables them to oppress all objects in their way to accomplish their end. Albany ‘s scriptural allusion to Goneril as a “ aureate snake ” , accentuates how, like Eve was tempted by to take the fruit from the tree of cognition, Lear has been tempted and deceived by Goneril ‘s superficial behavior. Ironically, nevertheless, greed is the sisters ‘ ruin. Their desire for position is satisfied- yet Edmund, the sisters ‘ lecherousness object, destroys their confederation and crucially they destroy one another. Therefore, pride is the beginning of their destructive nature, which in the terminal destroys them excessively.

Cordelia ‘s is possibly the lone character who possesses ‘good ‘ pride ; it is her pride and ethical motives, which ab initio cause her to warn her male parent over the “ Canis familiaris hearted ” Goneril and Regan. In fact, Cordelia ‘s virtuousness and pureness is implied through spiritual imagination, for case, “ she shook the Holy H2O from her celestial eyes ” – in this regard Cordelia epitomises Christian qualities. It is arguable that Cordelia is more a resemblance of an angel instead than a human being. Her pride is exemplified through her forfeit in the concluding scene ; as Christ is thought to hold redeemed the wickednesss of people through his crucifixion, Cordelia has redeemed Lear ‘s wickednesss through her decease. Hence, Cordelia ‘s sacrificial nature makes her more like a Christ-like figure. Besides, her forfeit has led her to decease with her ethical motives integral, therefore keeping her self-respect and pride. Alternatively, it is arguable that Cordelia ‘s pride leads to the ultimate ruin of the land. Her disdainful obstinacy prevents her from playing Lear ‘s ‘love trial ‘ , and this obstinate “ nil ” consequences in Regan and Goneril ‘s rebellion. Surely, this suggestion may hold justified Cordelia ‘s decease to the audience ; nevertheless, most feel that her pride, which consequences in her staying loyal to her male parent, as the merely good illustration of pride in King Lear.

To reason, the subject of pride plays a polar function in catalyzing a series of events, which show Lear ‘s land deteriorating and being placed into the custodies of his fallacious girls. Therefore, whilst there is grounds of some goodness derived out of pride in the drama, finally it has led to the devastation of the land and the decease of many of the characters. Pride is hence, the chief beginning of the calamity.