Essay on King Lear
Since there is no justice for the living in this play, it is not surprising that justice is not found in death either. How can it be just if cordelia dies and the captain lives? or even that she must suffer the same fate as edmund, Gon or Reg? There is not even a shadow of divine justice. The gods never seem to help or listen to the characters pleas. It would appear that Gloucester had it right when he desperatedly states that the gods are like wanton flies.. for their sport”. Edgar claims that the gods are just and only punish us for our vices. This statement rings true witht the case of Edmund. Perhaps he has done so much evil that he deserves to die. Same with Gon or Reg. But each of these characters have been horribly treated and Edmund even repents. However, it is acceptable to assume that his is proper punishment for the evil characeters. The ones refered to as scapegoats by Cohen. They need to die to purge the evil out of the kingdom. However, the cleanse of evil is short lived. and the healing is so brief that this “purging” is useless. What proves Edgars statement wrong is with the death of corderlia. Certain critics argue that Corde,lia acted pigheadedly and unbecoming for a young woman who was about to recieve a third of a kingdom or a bigger third than her sisters (whcih makes no sense and adds to the illogic found in King Lear). Perhaps it would have been more political to play along and not embarrass her father. However, banishment followed by death does not seem to be a just punishment for this poor truth teller.
Randomness of death in this play makes the reader believe that there are so many death just because “there can be” (Cohen) For example, Lear and his primary foil Gloucester die of emotion. For our day, this seems to be an impossible way to die. As a reader it almost feels as if Shakespeare has run out of cool way of killing off characters. Or maybe it adds to the cautionary tale aspect of this play, that children can kill their parents just by dissapointing them. Whatever the reason, it seems a bit weak. Yet, the most random of all the deaths has to be Gonerils. Her and Regan have fallen in love with Edmund. Since they are both very strong and independant women, it is inevitable that they would fight over him. Therefore, it is unsuprising that Gon would poison her competition. Yet, what is surprising isthat seh would kill herself off right after. It is hard to believe that she does so in guilt and