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Essay Divine Justice in Shakespeare's King Lear

Assignment id 1014884
Discipline Self Improvement
Assignment type Essay
Words 1759
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Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit--"nothing comes from nothing". In the pre-Christian universe of King Lear, this principle is a way of life. Character's actions prove useless as catastrophe befalls them; Lear loses his kingdom and his family, Gloucester his vision, and Cordelia her entire life. By these means, Shakespeare's King Lear reflects human cruelty at its most extreme, base level--thus contributing to the view of an unfair world. By depicting a breakdown in the social hierarchy and also a fruitless relationship between man and the gods, William Shakespeare, in his play King Lear, determines the absence of divine justice in human life, indicating a minimal, much nonexistent involvement of the gods in human events. Shakespeare overturns the social arrangement to be able to demonstrate the absence of justice in the world; traditional theories of right and wrong and the effects of each are shown to be entirely obsolete. This disruption of the natural sequence plays an integral part in the characterization of an unresponsive heavens. Close to the start of the drama, Gloucester catalogues the disorder that has surfaced, mentioning how "love cools, friendship falls off", the "bond cracked 'twixt son and dad" and that there are "in cities, mutinies; in most countries, discord" (Shakespeare I.ii.111-119). Since Gloucester's remarks signify the discord which has emerged following Cordelia's disownment, his gloomy diction functions to proof the breakdown of established order in the territory--all while suggesting that without order, there cannot be any justice. According to Gloucester, Lear endures because he's "fallen from what is organic" by banishing Cordelia (Hermesmann two). Even from the first action of the play, Shakespeare reveals the darker aspect of Lear's world: traditions could be defied and ru...

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