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

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1 Wagner Shakespeare King Lear Character Start August 12, 2013 King Lear: Clarity Through Madness At the beginning of Shakespeare’s King Lear , King Lear enters his throne room as a man in possession of great power, faithful servants, and a loyal daughter, Cordelia. He also holds a vain desire for public admiration and flattering, and a naïve confidence in the greedy, selfish natures of his eldest daughters Goneril and Regan. This prideful attitude proves to be his downfall as he allows it to dictate the division of his kingdom among his treacherous daughters, the exiling of his beloved Cordelia and loyal servant Kent, and ultimately his own exile at the hands of Goneril and Regan into the wilderness where he descends into madness. However, out of his insane wanderings on the stormy heath bemoaning his daughters’ betrayal and guilt for exiling Cordelia, a new clarity and recognition of reality emerges. As Lear’s mind descends into the depths of insanity and he loses much coherence and following of social norms, he also shows a remarkable degree of understanding, finally revealing that, despite or perhaps because of his madness, he has a deeper, clearer sense of the world around him that he did at the play’s opening when he was in his right mind. Indeed, the central character King Lear begins the play with a
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