King Lear Thematic Start

King Lear Thematic Start - 1 Wagner Shakespeare King Lear...

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1 Wagner Shakespeare King Lear Thematic Start August 12, 2013 Appearance vs. Reality in King Lear Through the twisting plots and complex characters in his plays—history, comedy, and tragedy alike—Shakespeare continually asks the question, “What is fantasy, and what is reality?” Audiences laugh and cry with characters as they try to discern reality from pranks, truth from lies, and reality from fantasies. Usually a final realization of reality brings about the final happy endings. For example, in Twelfth Night , Orsino and Viola only attain happiness through love when Viola reveals her true identity as a woman and Orsino discards his fanciful obsession with Olivia. Similarly, Benedict and Beatrice of Much Ado About Nothing only reach happiness when they drop their false facades of indifference and finally admit their true loves for one another. However, Shakespeare’s tragic King Lear suggests that typically admirable traits like honesty shining light on reality do not always bring about happy endings. At the beginning of the play, Cordelia and Kent are exiled because of their loving honesty toward Lear. Later, the loyal Edgar must hide to escape death when Edmund convinces
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