27th March 2018

Lear’s Sin

“I am a man more sinned against than sinning”

I do not believe that Lear’s claims to being sinned against are completely valid as he has been betrayed in his eyes by his daughter Cordelia for being truthful. The thing is that he is really being deceived by those he thought were the opposite of his ‘deceitful’ daughter. I think his reactions are irrational and sparratic, being that he reacts the most to those who he holds closest; Cordelia, his favoured daughter, Kent, his closest companion. Considering he did not actually know his two evil plotting daughters were actually plotting upon him until he was actually shunned and treated like some sort of lower caste father, which completely up rules ‘The Great Chain of Being’ This is now a valid response as his daughters are not abiding by the victorian universal purity hierarchy, and a sin against the king is considered a sin directly towards God. As the divine right to rule places the king in an uncompromisable place within his Kingdom, placing anyone who sinned against him, plotted against him or acted directly sin like towards him would place them in a compromise-able position. As the King he commands respect through the name of God, and to the Elizabethan people that was valid as the great chain of being said exactly that, Kings were the most holy and pure spirited of mankind according to God. Lear’s claim that he is “a man more sinned against than sinning” could be partially true but as we can only see in the play his demise, his deterioration and declaration of ill mental health it becomes harder to see him as someone who has not sinned at great lengths. Kings and the ‘divine right to rule’ places them in a practically untouchable place, meaning that what he says, goes. From what we know of the real world that Shakespeare is telling a story of, Kings got away with more than deceit, they murdered and lied and made their subjects do terrible awful things all in the name of God. 

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