Analyze how the role of king lear in the play king lear changes when the perspective which they are viewed changes. Examine three the perspective can be exponential, feminism...

Analyze how the role of king lear in the play king lear changes when the perspective which they are viewed changes. Examine three possibilities.

so the perspective can be exponential, feminism perspective.

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lynnebh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am wondering if you could rephrase your question, because I am not sure I understand what you are asking. Are you asking if the role of King Lear changes or if King Lear himself changes? Might you be asking if his role is different or changes based on how the characters view him or if the perspective of individual characters changes his role? Also, since you mention the "feminism perspective" is your question limited to the female characters?

I am going to take a stab at answering your question based on what I think you may be asking, since I notice that no one has attempted to answer your question and you may be wondering why. If I have interpreted your question incorrectly, perhaps you can clarify it and ask it again.

Each of King Lear's daughters views him in a different way. Cordelia truly loves her father, even though she is aware of his character flaws. Lear places more emphasis on how things appear than how they actually are. Cordelia is his favorite daughter, so he must realize she sincerely loves him, yet he demands that she express this love in a way with which she is not willing to comply because it is demeaning. Plus, she would have to lower herself to the level of her two sisters, Goneril and Regan, who are fawning hypocrites and more than willing to participate in Lear's "who loves me the most?" contest. There is no evidence in the play that the two older daughters really love their father, at least not in the way Cordelia does.

Cordelia's feminine perspective, therefore, is different than that of her two sisters. She loves Lear even though he does not deserve it. She is devoted to him even though he does not deserve it. This is representative of the Christian idea that "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (many Christian themes in Shakespeare). I don't believe Lear's role changes because the perspective of his daughters is different however, because the two older girls perceive him as someone that can give them their rightful reward if they feign enough "love" for him. They don't change this view, ever. Cordelia's perspective is like that of Christ, in that she loves her father, in spite of his faults. Again, Lear's role with regard to Cordelia does not change.

Does Lear himself change? That is a debated question. He certainly comes to realize, by the end of the play, that Cordelia is the one that truly loves him and he would rather live out his life with her in chains than live a free man without her love. But does this change come in time for him to mend his ways, apologize to Cordelia, and go on with his life being a better king? No. King Lear is a tragic, but pathetic character, compared to someone like Hamlet, for example, who is also tragic, but admirable.

There is an extensive analysis of this play right here on enotes. Perhaps if you read some of this information, you can get some insights into your question.