Sample Scholarship Essays

King Lear

King Lear King lear Assignment English OAC Shakespeare’s tragedy King Lear is a detailed description of the consequences of one man’s decisions. This fictitious man is Lear, King of England, who’s decisions greatly alter his life and the lives of those around him. As Lear bears the status of King he is, as one expects, a man of great power but sinfully he surrenders all of this power to his daughters as a reward for their demonstration of love towards him. This untimely abdication of his throne results in a chain reaction of events that send him through a journey of hell. King Lear is a metaphorical description of one man’s journey through hell in order to expiate his sin.

As the play opens one can almost immediately see that Lear begins to make mistakes that will eventually result in his downfall. The very first words that he speaks in the play are :- ..Give me the map there. Know that we have divided In three our kingdom, and ’tis our fast intent To shake all cares and business from our age, Conferring them on younger strengths while we Unburdened crawl to death.. (Act I, Sc i, Ln 38-41) This gives the reader the first indication of Lear’s intent to abdicate his throne. He goes on further to offer pieces of his kingdom to his daughters as a form of reward to his test of love. Great rivals in our youngest daughter’s love, Long in our court have made their amorous sojourn, And here are to be answered.

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Tell me, my daughters (Since now we will divest us both of rule, Interest of territory, cares of state), Which of you shall we say doth love us most? That we our largest bounty may extend where nature doth with merit challenge. (Act I, Sc i, Ln 47-53) This is the first and most significant of the many sins that he makes in this play. By abdicating his throne to fuel his ego he is disrupts the great chain of being which states that the King must not challenge the position that God has given him. This undermining of God’s authority results in chaos that tears apart Lear’s world. Leaving him, in the end, with nothing. Following this Lear begins to banish those around him that genuinely care for him as at this stage he cannot see beyond the mask that the evil wear.

He banishes Kent, a loyal servant to Lear, and his youngest and previously most loved daughter Cordelia. This results in Lear surrounding himself with people who only wish to use him which leaves him very vulnerable attack. This is precisely what happens and it is through this that he discovers his wrongs and amends them. Following the committing of his sins, Lear becomes abandoned and estranged from his kingdom which causes him to loose his sanity. While lost in his grief and self-pity the fool is introduced to guide Lear back to the sane world and to help find the lear that was ounce lost behind a hundred Knights but now is out in the open and scared like a little child.

The fact that Lear has now been pushed out from behind his Knights is dramatically represented by him actually being out on the lawns of his castle. The terrified little child that is now unsheltered is dramatically portrayed by Lear’s sudden insanity and his rage and anger is seen through the thunderous weather that is being experienced. All of this contributes to the suffering of Lear due to the gross sins that he has committed. The pinnacle of this hell that is experienced be Lear in order to repay his sins is at the end of the play when Cordelia is killed. Lear says this before he himself dies as he cannot live without his daughter.

Howl, howl, howl! O, you are men of stones. Had I your tongues and eyes, I’d use them so That heaven’s vault should crack. She’s gone for ever! I know when one is dead, and when one lives. She’s dead as earth. Lend me a looking glass.

If that her breath will mist or stain the stone, Why, then she lives. (Act V, Sc iii, Ln 306-312) All of this pain that Lear suffered is traced back to the single most important error that he made. The choice to give up his throne. This one sin has proven to have massive repercussions upon Lear and the lives of those around him eventually killing almost all of those who were involved. And one is left to ask one’s self if a single wrong turn can do this to Lear then what difficult corner lies ahead that may cause similar alterations in one’s life. English Essays.

King Lear

John Keats interprets the nature of King Lear to be rather tedious. He talks about golden-tongued Romance with serene lute which could easily be reflected in Lears tranquil, half-witted mindset which fails to read between the lines.
He refers to Lears daughters (Goneril & Regan) as innocent appearing yet seductive devils. A good example of nothing imagery from the play is evident when Keats writes Shut up thing olden pages, and be mute. He is obviously telling us that Lear should keep his thoughts to himself and showing us that nothing is actually sometimes more productive than something useless.
Keats believes that Lear should leave before another destructive dispute conspires (Adieu! For once again the fierce dispute). This is another example of nothing imagery because Lear would be better off doing nothing rather than doing something pointless and engaging in battle.
He thinks that Lears nature is a fierce battle between condemnation and impassioned clay. What Keats could be attempting to say is that we as readers must burn through the play and understand what Shakespeare is actually telling us.
He continues with The bitter-sweet of this Shakespearean fruit. This line could relate to the tragic happenings which occur throughout the book due to the ignorant attitudes of Lear and Gloucester. Consequently the compassion returns to the play which completes the bitter-sweet term of Shakespeares fruit.

Keats seems to be asking our ancestors to help him in his daily life to avoid the mistakes made by Lear and uses his wandering through the storm like a deranged lunatic as an example. Let me not wander in a barren dream is a good example of this. He is obviously referring to Lears antics throughout the storm.
As Keats concludes this acclaimed sonnet, he prays that should he succumb to mistakes similar to Lear did in his life, that God grant him a second chance to obliterate them (Give me new Phoenix wings to fly at my desire.)
I think that this sonnet was a very intensely written piece of work which obviously was created by a good combination of precise thought, work, creativity and analysis on the part of Keats.
My perspective on Lears life is entirely parallel to John Keats because when you think about everything he says, it is very hard not to agree with his reasoning.
His references to nothing imagery and the storm are rather intriguing because he relates them to his life and possibly our own lives.
It takes a brilliant mind to comprehend brilliant writing like Shakespeares and Keats evidently had the exceptional talent to do so and help us see things from Shakespeares perspective.
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