King lear essays

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King lear essays

In William Shakespeare's play King Lear, rich apparel and gorgeousness are contrasted against imagery of nakedness and poverty.During the high style of the Renaissance, the usage of nakedness and gorgeousness was a widely used artistic device.Shakespeare uses clothing to represent appearance in exploring the theme of appearance verses reality.How King Lear presents himself to the world compared to what he truly is, is illustrated by the stripping away of King Lear's symbols of power.
Shakespeare utilizes the images of clothing and nakedness to strengthen the power of the tragedy of King Lear.Through the usage of these images, Shakespeare visually reinforces qualities of each character, both morally and ethically.The rich and intricate dress of Regan and Goneril flaunt their obsession with status and display their fixation on wealth and their desire to be perceived as royalty, while the more morally upstanding and loyal figures, such as Kent and Edgar, are willing to give up their comfortable or courtly attire to protect their king or save their lives and hopefully save their country.Clothing also serves as a tool to be utilized throughout the play.The Fool, a witty and devoted man, carefully disguises his intelligent observations and ironic jibes in intricate language and rhyme, just as the outrageous parti-colored attire of a jest covers his body.Even his head, the center of his wit, hides beneath a pointy and ridiculous-looking hat, the coxcomb.In these manners, attire is a poignant way of identifying characters on the stage, who are both moral and loyal.
Perhaps the most apparent example of the visual effect of clothing is King Lear himself.When the play opens he is regally attired, sitting on his throne and commanding the attention of all subjects in the room.However, once he has given away his kingdom and his power, we see him strip off more and more layers throughout the course of the play.F…