King Lear Essay | Student Essay

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The Rise and Fall of an Exemplary Tragic Hero in "King Lear"

Summary: In William Shakespeare's "King Lear," both Lear and Gloucester make errors in judgement that lead to their downfalls, but only the former is given heroic status. What makes Lear a tragic hero and Gloucester a mere victim?
In "King Lear" Shakespeare makes use of a subplot to emphasize the sufferings of the tragic hero, King Lear. The characters Lear and Gloucester are both of elevated status in society, and both plummet into a world of disorder and chaos as a result of their errors in judgement. Gloucester's initial error in judgement causes division among his family, whereas Lear's tragic flaw has an effect not only on his family, but as the king he disrupts the society as a whole. These flaws lead to the sufferings of Lear and Gloucester as both characters must suffer through the worst in order to see the truth of their predicaments.

Although King Lear and Gloucester both possess elements of a tragic hero, Gloucester's punishment simply parallels, on a lower scale, Lear's deterioration into madness. Shakespeare chooses to increase the...

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This section contains 1,149 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Student Essay on The Rise and Fall of an Exemplary Tragic Hero in "King Lear"
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