King Lear's Journey of Self Knowledge

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The play King Lear is one of the great Shakespearean tragedies, but is the story really so tragic? On a superficial level, one might say yes. Lear lost his place as King, destroyed his relationships with his daughters and eventually lost his life. But there was one thing that he did gain in the process. This play illustrates King Lear's journey from ignorance to self-knowledge, which one might say is a far more rewarding destination. He starts off as a naïve and ignorant old man, but as the play develops he learns a great deal about himself, his duties as king and about his relationships with his daughters. All of which play a large role in his identity as a person, a ruler and a father. Another thing to be noted is that the gains that Lear makes in self-knowledge always occur when he has reached his lowest point. It is when he is seemingly at his best that he is most ignorant about himself and his life.

At the beginning of the play Lear is most ignorant about his own identity. He is at the point in his life where he has reached old age and is supposedly "wise . He is seemingly sure of himself, at his highest point he will reach in the play as a person, yet he has almost no idea who he really is. " ˜T

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