King Lear by William Shakespeare Essay example

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Parallels The theme of a person's perceptions versus how the world actually is, is a common theme in literature across the ages. Shakespeare was particularly fond of playing with his audience and making them question if all his characters see is an illusion. In Shakespearean plays two types of illusion are manifest: the active deception of one character by others; and the inherent flaws in the perception of the viewer. The audience in King Lear bears witness to how characters can fail to perceive the world as it exists and instead only see an illusion; this idea is demonstrated in three different ways. The first is the relationship that exists between Lear and his three daughters, and his inability to perceive their true intentions; …show more content…
So drawn in is he with the illusion he fails to consider the reality of the situation, and ignores the love his third daughter expresses for him. This perception of her holding no love in her heart for her father continues late into the play when, even after she rescues him from the wild he tells her, “I know do not love me for your sisters have, as I remember done me wrong. You have some cause they have not.”. This continued belief that she does not love him, is just more proof of his fascination with the idea that his daughters are all against him; this line also shows that he cannot comprehend why Gonerill and Reagan have turned on him. Which is just more proof of his hold on the illusion presented at the start of the play that his daughters loved him, but are cruel despite their professed love. Reagan and Gonerill both forbid Gloucester from going to the king's aid, which sets him up to be betrayed by Edmund. Edmund, who has set himself up early in the play to be his father's trusted son an illusion he has set up to further his position in court, and hide this ambition from his father. Edmund earns his fathers trust when he 'betrays' the noble Edgar, in a rather elaborate set up, which is designed to hide the reality of Edmund and Edgar's nature and replace it with an illusion carefully crafted by Edmund to present himself in the best possible light. Gloucester buys into this illusion and believes

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