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The Working Memory Model

  • Date Submitted: 09/13/2010 12:32 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 55 
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“If Justice is only relative, depending on a personal point of view, how can it be justice?” In the light of this comment, how do you find justice presented in ‘King Lear’?

During the Elizabethan era, it was a common understanding for goodness to triumph over evil. Nevertheless, in ‘King Lear’, many of the good characters such as Cordelia are killed, and good doesn’t overcome evil without some element of suffering –which asks a chief philosophical question, ‘the existence of divine justice’. However debatable justice seems to be, it is one of the prevalent themes in ‘King Lear’ as there are aspects found in the play and it is presented by the views of good and evil characters.

There are many reasons for why Goneril and Regan could be viewed as victims of injustice. There are aspects in the play that could imply an ‘injustice to women’. Women are tools, being used as objects by men and when the two sisters object they are seen as evil. “I must change names at home and give distaff into my husband’s hands.” Goneril is seen as a ‘fiend’ because she is taking on a man’s role as she resents the idea of being powerless. They could also be seen as acting together, helping each other in a world that is biased against women. “If our father carry authority with such disposition as he bears this last surrender of his, will but offend us.” Goneril and Regan are defending themselves in a man’s world as they believe Lear is too rash and violent and are protecting themselves against Lear’s mistakes.

However, the representation of female evil can also be seen in ‘King Lear’.   Goneril and Regan can be viewed as deceptive villains. Albany states “See thyself, devil: [Goneril] proper deformity shows not in the fiend so horrid as in the woman.” In the Shakespearean period, women were either classed either ‘Saints’ or ‘Devils,’ men blamed women for the spread of sexual diseases for instance. In keeping with this theme of female evil, is the notion that women are linked to...

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