Who Makes Justice

In King Lear, Lear is the man with all the power to begin with. From the time the reader saw him with everything, he was not a great or admirable man. Lear was quick to anger, impulsive, and the opposite of smart. The only reason his subjects listened and obeyed him is due to the fact that he held all the power. Defying the King could mean losing your life, land, or family. King Lear deals out his sense of justice when Kent, his loyal advisor defies him. At the beginning he could do anything he wanted with no consequences and didn’t hold back.

As Lear deligated his land to his daughters, his power dwindled. He could no longer deal his sense of justice with no council. Goneril and Regan held all the power and almost all of Lear’s former followers left to serve the strong. The daughters proceeded to make their own dealings and pass their own sentences on people. Justice gets dealt by the people who hold the power. It is always the people who win and can do the real damage that make justice. In most wars, the victor has been on the side of justice, but it is not because justice prevails. Rather the winner is justice and no one could defy them.

2 thoughts on “Who Makes Justice


    I agree. I think it is interesting that Lear is seen in the beginning as this “all powerful”, “can’t be messed with” kind of guy but when he gives his kingdom up to his two daughters, he loses it all. However, they act like complete idiots and the power just fades away. In the end the most powerful thing out there is justice and treating people right in which is illustrated by cordelia when she, even though she was essentilaly banished by her father, loving and willing to take him in and take care of him later on.


  2. ryan c

    Tam, I like your concept of whoever holds the power essentially holds the justice system. Those two go hand in hand in Shakespeare’s King Lear, as we see both the power shift and therefore the justice system. I disagree with your second paragraph describing that “justice” is only reached through wars because power wins it, and therefore justice wins it. Despite agreeing with you on this, if both sides of power also hold the standards of justice, then wouldn’t justice and power prevail inevitably. All in all, I liked this idea a lot.


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