Wednesday, October 2, 2019
The Theme of Justice in King Lear Essay -- Papers
The Theme of Justice in King Lear Justice is a balance of misfortune and good fortune; right and wrong according to motives and circumstances of the individuals under judgement. To be just we must consider why they did it and balance out all the evidence and facts and decide on a punishment depending on these. Types of justice that exist in society include criminal justice, legal justice, vigilante justice, natural justice and divine justice. As King Lear is a brutal play, filled with human cruelty and many awful disasters, the play's terrible events raise an obvious question for the characters, namely whether there is any possibility of justice in the world. Various characters offer their opinions. Towards the end of the play Gloucester says: "As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods; / they kill us for their sport," Here, he has realized it is foolish for humankind to assume that the natural world works in parallel with social or moral justice because ultimately, the gods will do with us what they will regardless of whether or not it is just. Edgar, on the other hand, insists that: "the gods are just," optimistically believing that individuals must ultimately get what they deserve. However, in the end, we are left with only a terrifying uncertainty; although the wicked die, the good die along with them, leaving us with the awful image of Lear cradling Cordelia's body in his arms unable to accept the fact that she has suffered such an inexplicable injustice. There is goodness in theworld of the play, but there is also madness, evil and death, and it is difficult to tell which triumphs in the end. The purpose o... ...n are clever-or at least clever enough to flatter their father in the play's opening scene-and, early in the play, their bad behaviour toward Lear seems matched by his own pride and temper. But any sympathy that the audience can muster for them evaporates quickly, first when they turn their father out into the storm at the end of Act II. Goneril and Regan are, in a sense, personifications of evil-they have no conscience, only appetite. It is this greedy ambition that enables them to crush all opposition and make themselves mistresses of Britain. Ultimately, however, this same appetite brings about their undoing. Their desire for power is satisfied, but both harbour desires for Edmund, which destroys their alliance and eventually leads them to destroy each another. Evil, the play suggests, inevitably turns in on itself.