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Such are the horrid outcomes of the characters in King Lear.

At the end of this play two of the protagonists, King Lear and his loyal friend the Earl of Gloucester, die after having suffered through major injustices at the hands of their own children.

Indeed, one of the main aspects of King Lear is the representation of royalty’s foolishness....

Ib. sc. 2. This scene, dreadful as it is, is still a relief, because a variety, because domestic, and therefore soothing, as associated with the only real pleasures of life. The conversation between Lady Macduff and her child heightens the pathos, and is preparatory for the deep tragedy of their assassination. Shakspeare's fondness for children is every where shown;—in Prince Arthur, in King John; in the sweet scene in the Winter's Tale between Hermione and her son; nay, even in honest Evans's examination of Mrs. Page's schoolboy. To the objection that Shakspeare wounds the moral sense by the unsubdued, undisguised description of the most hateful atrocity—that he tears the feelings without mercy, and even outrages the eye itself with scenes of insupportable horror—I, omitting Titus Andronicus, as not genuine, and excepting the scene of Gloster's blinding in Lear, answer boldly in the name of Shakspeare, not guilty.

Stampfer believes is the most profound problem in King Lear.

evil, King Lear paved the way for other such symbolic plays to written.

Coursen�s Shakespeare on Television: An Anthology of Essays and Reviews (1988); and c) those making reference to virtually unavailable adaptations such as the television series An Age of Kings (1960) or The Spread of the Eagle (1963)."

Blindness is one of the most frequently employed metaphors in King Lear. Blindness will become a physical problem for Gloucester later in the play, but its metaphoric weight is used to foreshadow and heighten this development. Lear is blind to the blatant hypocrisy of his two oldest daughters from the first moment we meet him. However, unlike the implication that he was once a more noble man since he has the support of seemingly noble subcharacters, Kent and Gloucester, we are not given the impression that he ever knew well enough to previously suspect Goneril or Regan of ingratitude or dishonesty. They have obviously shown their true colors at some point before though since Cordelia responds in such a manner to alert us that she will not sink as low in hypocrisy as her sisters will. For instance, she comments, "A still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue/ That I am glad I have not, though not to have it/ Hath lost me in your liking" (I.i.231-233).

The overriding critical problem in King Lear is that of its ending.

In the pre-Christian world of King Lear, this principle is a way of life.

King Lear is the somewhat unfortunate vehicle that Shakespeare uses to explore many of these themes creating a complex character including the roles of a father, king, friend and adversary....

King Lear is one of the more caged characters of the play, he suffers both social and psychological incarceration and this is one the chief reasons for his descent into mental hell and inevitable downfall....

Through both these views we see violence as being central to interpreting Brook’s King Lear.
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King Lear E-Text contains the full text of King Lear

on the entrance of the deeper traitor for whom Cawdor had made way! And here in contrast with Duncan's 'plenteous joys,' Macbeth has nothing but the common-places of loyalty, in which he hides himself with 'our duties.' Note the exceeding effort of Macbeth's addresses to the king, his reasoning on his allegiance, and then especially when a new difficulty, the designation of a successor, suggests a new crime. This, however, seems the first distinct notion, as to the plan of realizing his wishes; and here, therefore, with great propriety, Macbeth's cowardice of his own conscience discloses itself. I always think there is something especially Shakspearian in Duncan's speeches throughout this scene, such pourings forth, such abandonments, compared with the language of vulgar dramatists, whose characters seem to have made their speeches as the actors learn them.

King Lear is a masterful inquiry into the human condition.

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