THE ROLE OF ERRONEOUS JUDGEMENT, PROVIDENCE AND EVIL IN SHAKESPEARE?S KING LEAR

Abstract

Author(s): K羹bra BAYSAL

One of Shakespeare’s four great tragedies, King Lear (1608) exhibits how error of judgement, the interference of fate and the presence of evil brings one’s downfall. The play presents the tragic hero, Lear, who is in an elevated position in his society as a just king but gradually falls because of erroneous judgement and the evil, which is awakened primarily by his daughters, Regan and Goneril. The effect of providence similarly serves for the rise of the evil in the play. Considering himself too old to rule his country, King Lear makes the decision to divide the realm amongst his daughters, by which he shall measure the extent of their affection towards him as their father. However, unable to judge her daughers’ love for him properly, he commits a tragic fault and banishes his most devoted daughter, Cordelia, from his court, which triggers the whole chain of tragic incidents (Richardson, 2008, 6). As a victim to his faulty judgement and the malevolent providence, Lear represents the human condition, love and dignity through his suffering and tragic end. Hence, this paper aims to analyse Shakespeare’s King Lear as a tragedy reflecting the profound impact of erroneous judgement and the role of providence in one’s life exemplified through King Lear, his daughters and evil characters.

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