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Paraphrasing King Lear Act 4

  • Date Submitted: 02/25/2011 07:52 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 71.7 
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Lauren   1
Lauren Schenkey
Jeremy Beaulne
English 150-051
January, 25th, 2011

My Attempt to Paraphrase the Words of a Man Gone Crazed
Amidst the fourth act in Shakespeare’s classical tragedy King Lear, Lear unfurls the injustice that has been done upon himself and the lives of many others. Despite Lear’s bouts of insanity, he reaches some form of anagnorisis regarding the concept of justice.   King Lear mentions switching places with a simple thief. This widens his perspective as to “which is the justice, [and] which is the thief” (4.6.145-148). He realizes that even a lowly figure such as a criminal deserves the fundamentals to live, just as much as he, the king of Britain does. A thief simply attains their resources by a different nature. To ridicule such actions as thievery is unjust, but such a view is skewed by those “who have the power/ to seal the accuser’s lips” it’s simply a glorified, god given duty and they are above the law. Lear realizes that being king is much more in depth than the amount of flattery and words of loyalty he once cherished. Lear constitutes that he truly isn’t as grossly unrelated to his subjects as he once presumed himself to be.   The title of King-hood doesn’t indefinitely set Lear apart from his people. They are all vulnerable to the elements, experience emotions and the actions of others and nothing more than “a poor, bare, forked animal” at the end of the day (3.4.99–100). Humility sweeps over the King and he recognizes that “through tatter'd clothes small vices do appear; / robes and furr’d gowns hide all” (4.6.158-159). We are all involved in the “great stage “, that we call earth. The once oblivious Lear both grasps and lectures this insight. Through his many trials and tribulations, he has conquered the injustices of his past and come to a form of peace and acceptance.
            Lauren 2
Sources Cited
Lear’s Speech about injustice (4. 6. 159-174), King Lear by Shakespeare


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