How King Lear Portrays a Loss of Power as a Loss of Sanity.

Throughout his play, Shakespeare’s King Lear shows multiple scenes of acute loss of power in an individual, weather its Edgar being forced out by a false accusation from Edmund, or Lear giving up his kingdom to his daughters, just to be shunted by them in the next act. These examples do not complete the list of power struggles, but are great examples of men so dependent on the power they hold, when they lose that power, they lose grasp on themselves. Take Lear for example, the moment he realizes that he holds no power or status over his daughters or the dukes, he almost instantly starts acting out of control, weather its begging to let him stay or insulting every person that lays eyes on him. Lear in this case firmly believes he can still get what he wants because he was the one that gave the power he held to his daughters. Lear’s hope quickly fades, however, as he is kicked out of Cornwall’s estate and sent to fend for himself in for the storm. From there, the hole that his loss of power formed becomes much more apparent.

Lear begins scene II of act III by challenging the storm to hit him with everything you got, in which he is half pretending to hold power over the storm, whilst being torn apart by it. When Lear continues by emphasizing that he does not need the cruel hospitality of his daughters, and even refuses basic shelter, it becomes clear that his void of power has escalated into his own self deprecation, in which he believes that he is nothing without the power that he once held, and is going mad over it. later in the act, Lear begins to talk like the fool, as if its his destiny for a powerless man like him to become the new fool. Its not just a loss of power that causes Lear to end up like this, but rather his dependency on power in order to give him his conciseness.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s