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Families Are Destined to Tear Themselves Apart Essay

  • Submitted by: taran7
  • on February 28, 2014
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,229 words

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Below is an essay on "Families Are Destined to Tear Themselves Apart" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

‘Families are destined to tear themselves apart.’ In light of this view discuss the ways in which Shakespeare represents love and conflict in Act One of King Lear.  

Love is defined as a strong positive emotion of regard and affection. It comes in many different forms and is extremely prominent in our existence that it has managed to become apart of various themes developed in literature. Conflict can be argued to arise from love, when feeling matters are unjust many result to a struggle between motives and emotions. This is no different with King Lear, a tragic play by Shakespeare based on the legend of King Lair dating back to the 1600’s. The relationship between love and conflict can lead one to question, whether families are destined to tear themselves apart.

In Act one Scene one King Lear himself can be expressed to be the image of self-love. It is obvious that Lear only cares about himself since he likes to be subjected to flattery. Lear asks his daughters ‘which of you shall doth love us most.’   Lear is bribing his daughters, Gonerill, Cordelia and Regan with wealth and land so he can see and hear who will express the most amount of affection. Lear’s use of monosyllabic language, juxtaposed against the other characters within the play, is used by Lear to be intimidating and direct stating his authority over his land. At this point in the play Lear is aware of the prestige of his title as ‘king’ and truly believes himself to be superior emphasized through Shakespeare’s use of personal pronoun ‘us’. This in turn leads to conflict within the family. Cordelia by contrast is a realist; she refuses to flatter because of her belief in genuine love ‘I love your majesty according to my bond; no more no less.’ Moreover Shakespeare chooses to repeat the negative article ‘no.’ Cordelia’s response is used to shock the audience, particularly a Renaissance audience. Society was surrounded about the topic of conformity and obedience; daughters were expected to follow...

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