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Shakespeare King Lear


LOVE IN KING LEAR and number: submitted: LOVE IN KING LEAR One would have expected that asa tragic play, “King Lear” would not have much of a theme that has to do with love, but Shakespeare really exhibited the power of love as a strong element that can overcome all things by placing love as one of the central themes of the play. In the play, an important characteristic of love is exhibited through the use of characterization and this characteristic is the many forms through which love can be exhibited. Characters have always been identified as the key instruments through which writers present their themes and this was well meted out by Shakespeare who showed three forms of love namely self-love, false-love and devotional love through different characters namely King Lear, Regan and Goneril, and Oswald (Danby, 1949).
Throughout the play, there is an embodiment of self-love in King Lear, as he would settle for a belief in beginning love for others with love for oneself. King Lear holds this perception because in the opening stages of the play, we read of him, being confused of what the concept of real love is. To him therefore, real starts with a person and “Love is not love, when it is mingled with regards that stand aloof from the entire point”. But the weakness of Lear’s self-love was that it was too often filled with flattery, making it difficult for him to appreciate real love from others (Bonheim, 1960). Regan and Goneril, who were the daughters of the king, also embody false love; as Oswald represent devotional love. This was a literary technique of contrast, which the writer used to better draw an understanding of what true or real love is. At the end of the day, the existence of false-true made the definition and meaning of true love very outstanding in the story.
Cited Work
Bonheim, Helmut, ed. The “King Lear” Perplex. San Francisco: Wadsworth Publishing Co., 1960. Print.
Danby, John. Shakespeare’s Doctrine of Nature: A Study of King Lear. Pengium Press: London. 1949. Print.

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