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Parrellelism in King Lear

Uploaded by Chiubacca on Jul 24, 2000

Many twists and turns characterize the television soap operas of today. Subplots are a distinctive trait of these daylight dramas, for they keep audience on the edge of their seats. Subplots keep the material fresh and the audience wanting more. Shakespeare uses secondary plots as a literary device to greatly dramatize the action of the play and to spark a contrast to his underlying themes in King Lear. The secondary plots can incalculably improve the effect of dramatic irony and suspense. The effective usage of subplots in King Lear, as a form of parallelism, exhibits analogous traits of prominent characters. Using such literary device permits the audience to understand the emotions of the essential characters in the play. The magnificent similarity of different plots and characters can illustrate Shakespeare's perfect use of parallelism in King Lear.

Parallelism is greatly enhanced by the use of subplots, for it creates emphasis and suspense. The parallel between Lear and Gloucester displayed in the play cannot possibly be accidental. The subplot of Gloucester corresponds the major plot of Lear. The two fathers have their own loyal legitimate child, and their own evil and disloyal kin. Gloucester and Lear are both honorable men, who have children that return to them in their time of need, and are sightless to the truth. Like Lear, Gloucester is tormented, and his favored child recovers his life; he is tended and healed by the child whom he has wronged. Their sufferings are traceable to their extreme folly and injustice, and to a selfish pursuit of their pleasure. In the early beginning of King Lear, Cordelia says that her love for her father is the love between father and daughter, no more, no less.

"Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty
According to my bond; nor more nor less." (Shakespeare.I.i.93-95)

In response, Lear flies into a rage, disowns Cordelia, and divides her share of the kingdom between her two unworthy sisters. Such folly and injustice is encountered by Gloucester in the secondary plot.

"O villain, villain! His very opinion in the
letter. Abhorred villain, unnatural, detested, brut-
ish villain; worse than brutish! Go, sirrah, seek
him. I'll apprehend him. Abominable villain! Where
is he?" (I.ii.80-84)

Gloucester fooled by his wick bastard son, Edmund, attacks Edgar and leaves Edmund to his evil plans. The parallel incidents of Lear and Gloucester add towards the dramatic irony...

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Uploaded by:   Chiubacca

Date:   07/24/2000

Category:   King Lear

Length:   5 pages (1,166 words)

Views:   1952

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