How does King Lear achieve wisdom?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I would say that Lear achieves wisdom by truly understanding his own predicament and his own self of self in the middle of that awful storm.  Prior to that point, Lear had believed that his own wealth had meant value.  He believed that with title, property, possessions, and wealth, he...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

I would say that Lear achieves wisdom by truly understanding his own predicament and his own self of self in the middle of that awful storm.  Prior to that point, Lear had believed that his own wealth had meant value.  He believed that with title, property, possessions, and wealth, he was able to externally reflect the sense of respect and dignity that he believed he held and to which he was entitled.  When asking his girls to profess their loyalty, he believes Regan and Goneril, primarily because like all else he possesses this is an external representation of his internal hopes.  When he walks into the storm and understands that when these external elements are stripped, there has to be a rumination upon what remains and what is internal.  When Lear understands this, it is as this point where wisdom, what the Greeks would call "sophia," is present.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team