In Northrop Frye's archetype of the hero's journey, the hero leaves his home (or comfort zone) and embarks innocently on a journey of growth and self-discovery, maturing into a new person by the end of the story.
While Lear never leaves what was his kingdom, he encounters a harsh journey of self-discovery and newfound wisdom that starts when he divides his kingdom between his two younger daughters. Like many a hero, he begins this journey to a new way of life with false expectations, and he meets hard and wholly unexpected challenges along the way.
Lear thinks that when he divides and gives away his kingdom, nothing will change for him except that he no longer will carry a heavy load of burdens and responsibilities. He imagines he will still be the center of the universe and that everyone will continue to run to fulfill his every command and treat him with deference, even when he no longer has his kingdom and power. Almost immediately, however, he runs up against adversity as his two...
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