Falstaff And King Lear

1171 words - 5 pages

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Shakespeare's tragedy King Lear is a detailed description of the consequences of one man's decisions. This fictitious man is Lear, King of England, who's decisions greatly alter his life and the lives of those around him. As Lear bears the status of King he is, as one expects, a man of great power but sinfully he surrenders all of this power to his daughters as a reward for their demonstration of love towards him. (Cain) This untimely abdication of his throne results in a chain reaction of events that send him through a journey of hell. King Lear is a metaphorical description of one man's journey through hell in order to expiate his sin. As the play opens one can almost immediately see that Lear begins to make mistakes that will... View More »

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There has been many different views on the plays of William Shakespeare and definitions of what kind of play they were. The two most popular would be the comedy and the tragedy. King Lear to some people may be a comedy because they believe that the play has been over exaggerated. Others would say King Lear was a tragedy because there is so much suffering and chaos. What makes a Shakespearean play a comedy or a tragedy? King Lear would be a tragedy because it meets all the requirements of a tragedy as defined by Andrew Cecil Bradley. Bradley states that a Shakespearean tragedy must have to be the story of the hero and that there is exceptional suffering and calamity slowly being worn in as well as it being contrasted to happier times. The play also depicts the troubled parts in his life and eventually his death that is instantaneous caused by the suffering and calamity. There is the feeling of fear in the play as well, that makes men see how blind they are not knowing when fortune or something else would be on them. (Cain) The hero must be of a high status on the chain and the hero also possesses a tragic flaw that initiates the tragedy. The fall of the hero is not felt by him alone but creates a chain reaction which affects everything below him. Henry IV is a very different composition. Falstaff the main character is clearly a prankster, and not nearly as many horrible things happen to him. Falstaff is the character we laugh at, a mock King in Henry IV. Hal is the ideal King and Falstaff is a Lord of Misrule. Up to certain point Falstaff is merely an object of pure ...

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