Example research essay topic: King Lear Characters Thrust Into An Unnatural Way Of Life – 1,594 words

Every person important to the action is thrust
into an unnatural way of life. In King Lear,
written by William Shakespeare, this quote was
very accurate. King Lear and Gloucester, both main
characters in the play, were thrust into a life
that was unfamiliar and caused both to react in
different ways. King Lear was the protagonist in
the play. The main theme of King Lear was entirely
based on the way Lear was forced to endure a
horrific life because of his two daughters,
Goneril and Regan, who cast their father aside in
order to obtain the power they craved. There are
two ways in which Lear was forced to live a life
to which he was not accustomed.

Lear became
physically and emotionally distraught, both cases
directly linked to Gonerils and Regans
selfishness. Goneril and Regan knew that their
father was going senile and therefore took this
opportunity to worsen his condition. When Lear
went to stay with Goneril, she did not speak to
him and pretended she was ill. I will not speak
with him. Say I am sick. (I/iii/9) She then forced
him to go to Regans house.

However, when he
arrived, she too had left, which caused him to
feel alone. Lear became his daughters toy, as they
passed him back and forth as if he was their ball
in a game of catch. Not only did Lears daughters
emotionally hurt him, but they physically harmed
him as well. Lear was a king, and therefore had
lived his entire life with the finest
accommodations. Goneril and Regan had forced Lear
in to a life he was not used to. On a night where
bleak winds/ Do scorely ruffle.

(II/iv/337-338),
Goneril and Regan Shut up your [Gloucesters]
doors. (II/iv/342) and left Lear out in the storm.
The King, who was used to elaborate castles and
large chambers, was forced to spend a night as a
poor citizen, searching for shelter from the cold.
Similarly to the way that Goneril and Regan caused
Lear to suffer, they also forced Gloucester to
live in a way in which he was unaccustomed.
Gloucester was very loyal to Lear, therefore he
took Lears side in the civil battle between Lear
and his daughters. For punishment, Lears daughters
Pluck[ed] out his eyes. (III/vii/5) Gloucester
must now live in a world that is both unfamiliar
and unkind. The wrongs that Goneril and Regan
committed towards their father and Gloucester were
both extremely cruel. The way in which Lear and
Gloucester coped with their situations was
exceedingly different.

Because Lear was a very
proud and noble man; he would not allow his
daughters to get away with their actions. After
Goneril and Regan had left Lear out in the storm,
Lear boldly stated: But I will punish home! No, I
will weep no more. In such a night To shut me out!
Pour on; I will endure. (III/iv/21-24) Lear willed
himself to stay strong. He said that he would take
revenge on his daughters, not letting them win. In
contrast to the way Lear reacted to his situation,
Gloucester reacted in an opposite manner.
Gloucester did not have the same will and
determination that Lear possessed.

After
Gloucester had been blinded, all he wanted to do
was die. He gave Poor Tom money to take him to the
cliffs of Dover where he planned to commit
suicide: There is a cliff, whose high and bending
head Looks fearfully in the confined deep. Bring
me but to the very brim of it, And Ill repair the
misery thou dost bear With something rich about
me. From that place I shall no leading need.
(IV/i/88-93) Gloucester no longer cared about
himself and the world. His only desire was to end
his suffering. Both Lear and Gloucesters pain
caused significant advances in the plot.

The main
theme of King Lear was Filial Ingratitude. The
more Goneril and Regan hurt their father, the more
insane Lear became. Lears insanity was the basis
behind the entire play. In the following quote,
Lear describes how his daughters actions have
caused his mind to fall apart. When the minds
free, The bodys delicate. The tempest in my mine
Doth from my sense take all feeling else Save what
beats there.

Filial ingratitude! (III/iv/15-19)
Goneril and Regan never stopped trying to hurt
their father. Each ungrateful deed the sisters
performed always led to another. Gloucesters
suffering advanced the plot because it helped to
portray Lears character. When Gloucester defies
Goneril and Regan in order to help his true king,
it showed the audience what great a king Lear must
have been. In act three, scene three, Gloucester
described how he would help the King. These
injuries the King now bears will be revenged home;
there is a part of a power already footed; we must
incline to the King.

I will look him and privily
relieve him. (III/iii/10-13) When Gloucester
risked his life to help the king, it helped to
depict Lear as a tragic hero because Lear is shown
to have possessed an outstanding value. In
addition to showing Lears great characteristics,
Gloucesters pain also proved how evil Goneril and
Regan were. After Albany was aware of Gloucesters
fate, he told Goneril: This shows you are above, /
You justicers, that these our nether crimes / So
speedily can venge! (IV/ii/89-91) Albany was
appalled by the way his wife had treated Lear,
again showing Lear as a tragic hero. Even though
Lear and Gloucester were indulged in both physical
and emotional pain, they both were noble and
honorable to others. When Lear and the fool were
outside in the storm and had finally found
shelter, Lear told the fool: In, boy; go first.
-houseless poverty / Nay get thee in.
(III/iv/32-33) Lear had felt sorry for the fool
because whatever happened to him, happed to the
fool.

This act was out of character for Lear
because royalty was supposed to enter first.
However, Lear knew that the fool was cold, and
took pity on him. Just as Lear had taken pity on
the fool, Gloucester took pity on the old man who
had led him through his dark world. Gloucester
knew that if Goneril and Regan found out about the
old mans kindness, the old man would share the
same horrible fate as he had. Therefore, he told
him: Away, get thee away! Good friend, be gone. /
Thy comforts can do me no good at all; / Thee they
may hurt. (IV/i/17-19) Gloucester, engrossed in
pain, still felt remorse for those less fortunate
than himself.

In both Lear and Gloucesters
distress, Goneril and Regan had expected their
people to have the same malicious feelings toward
Lear and Gloucester as they had. Unfortunately for
Goneril and Regan, that did not happen. Because
Lear and Gloucester were respected men, there were
many who turned their backs on Goneril and Regan
in order to help their King and Duke. The people
knew that if caught, the punishment was death, but
that did not matter to them. When France and
Britain were in combat, armies that belonged to
Goneril and Regan left and took Lear and Cordelias
side. In act five, scene one, Albany describes the
war situation: Sir, this I hear: the King is come
to his daughter, / With others whom the rigour of
our state / Forced to cry out.

(V/i/26-28) Not
only did Goneril and Regans men risk their lives
for Lear, but they also risked their lives for
Gloucester. After Gloucesters eyes were cruelly
ripped from the sockets, Gonerils own men rushed
to help him: Lets follow the old Earl, and get the
bedlam To lead him were he would Go thou. Ill
fetch some flax and whites of eggs To apply to his
bleeding face. Now heaven Help him!
(III/vii/121-125) Both Lear and Gloucester, in
their anguish, realized that they could have been
better leaders. They both became more
compassionate and just. Lear, during a moment of
sanity, realized how he had not been fair to the
poor people in his kingdom.

He asked the world to
have more pity on those who have nothing, and fill
them with their own riches: Poor naked wretches,
wheresoeer you are, That bide the pelting of this
pitiless storm, O, have taen Too little care of
this! Take physic, pomp; Expose thyself to feel
what wretches feel, That thou mayst shake the
superflux to them And show the heavens more just.
(III/iv/34-42) Gloucester, also realizes after he
had lost his sight, that he should have given land
and money to the poor. I stumbled when I say. Full
ofttis seen / Our means secure us, and our mere
defects / Prove our commodities. (IV/i/22-24)
Gloucester and Lear both feel this way because
they personally discovered what it was like to
have nothing. In King Lear, both Lear and
Gloucester are thrust into a way of life in which
neither is accustomed to. They both shared the
same fate because of Lears daughters, Goneril and
Regan.

Lear and Gloucester coped with their
situations in different ways, however the way they
treated others and the way others treated them was
similar. Many comparisons were drawn between these
two characters, which helped the audience become
more aware of their characteristics. William
Shakespeare was a truly brilliant man in the way
that he merged two honorable men into a atrocious
life, which in the end, only made them better..

Research essay sample on King Lear Characters Thrust Into An Unnatural Way Of Life