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King Lear by Shakespeare - Essay Example

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Thesis Art helps the main characters to find the truth, understanding the meaning of friendship and love, and resist chaos and evil.
In King Lear, the concept of art is based on binary opposition; good - evil, life - death, chaos - order. Using his techniques, Shakespeare 'teaches' the audience about good and bad, virtues and sins, social and immoral behavior. For instance, actions of Duke of Cornwall and Regandepict low morals of people who act in their own interests only forgetting about human virtues and goodness. Regansarcastically comments: "Which the most precious square of sense possesses, / And find I am alone felicitate / In your dear Highness' love" (Shakespeare 1999). Using binary opposition of good and evil, Shakespeare unveils consequences of selfishness and egoism, aggressiveness and low personal values of people. In opposition to Regan and Goneril, Shakespeare creates a character of Cordelia a loving and sympathetic daughter. The nonsensical action caused sufferings for many innocent people because of dishonor, falsehood, low moral values 'preached' by the society. Evil and sins ruin happiness and art seeing as a constructive force of happiness and love. In contras to her sisters Cordelia truly loves her father and cares about him: "O dear father, / It is thy business that I go about" (Shakespeare 1999). Without this opposition, the audience would be unable to see the differences and contrasts between good and evil nature. Following Eldridge (2003): "conceptual art are "at the service of the mind" in that they are intended to set up in an audience a line of thinking about a subject matter. Most literary works clearly undertake to describe an action, situation, or event" (25). These contrasts and oppositions help Shakespeare to create a story conflict and draw attention to contrasting elements and personal traits. For instance, Earl of Gloucester is a foil of King Lear who commits the same faults as Lear. For while deploying descriptive detail in the conventional realistic way to build up a rich and convincing impression of Earl of Gloucester and the world he creates, Shakespeare uses realism. In contrast to King Lear, Gloucester is not so powerful and stubborn. Gloucester says:
"I desir'd their leave that I might pity him, they took from /
me the use of mine own house, charg'd me on pain of perpetual/
displeasure neither to speak of him, entreat for him, nor sny /
way sustain him" (Shakespeare 1999).
Shakespeare compares and contrasts both rulers who suffer the burdens of rule. It is important to note that identifying something as art, then, is indispensable to artistic practices. That something is art signals how and even whether readers are to respond to it interpretively, aesthetically, and appreciatively.
King Lear demonstrates that art is an important part of life because it leads to self-knowledge and self-development. What is particularly interesting in the plot of King Lear is its exceptionally broad psychological and sociological scope, involving characters from practically all bands of the dynamic spectrum and social classes. Eldridge (2003) comments: "A work ...Show more


Throughout the history, art plays an important role in life of ordinary people determining their preferences and tastes, reflecting cultural values and traditions. Identifying art is a pressing issue; one could no longer suppose that there is a tacit or implicit cultural understanding ready-to-hand and non-Western art hailed from other cultures, with potentially different prevailing assumptions, anyway (Eldridge 27)…
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King Lear by Shakespeare essay example
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