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Antitheses The play King Lear and the novel A Thousand Acres can be compared and contrasted in many ways For example each works plot involves a struggle over land Both also deal with the ousting of a father figure Another comparable element in each work is the illegitimate courting of women by a newly arrived enigmatic son In King Lear the son is Edmund a bastard of the Earl of Gloucester a son who Gloucester admits came something saucily to the world before he was sent for KL 1121-22 Gloucester still believes the whoreson must be acknowledged KL 1124 On the other hand Jess Clark one of two sons of Harold Clark is nothing of a bastard Rather the absence of Jess comes from his conscious choice to leave his home to avoid the Vietnam War draft Jess returns many years later of his own volition These two men while being comparative characters have little in common besides sharing an absence from the lives of the other characters in each respective work These two literary figures could be fairly seen as antitheses of each other whose differences can be seen by examining each mans circumstance desires and actions First Edmunds circumstance is a precarious one His situation in life seems to be filled with barriers because of his illegitimacy He however not only uses this fact of life to his advantage but also disregards his illegitimacy He believes that if not by birth have lands by wit KL 12187 Edmund first questions the immorality of being a bastard and being the younger of the Gloucesters two sons by thinking to himself Lag of a brother Why bastard Wherefore base When my dimensions are as well compact my mind as generous and my shape as true as honest madams issue Why brand they us with base With baseness Bastardy KL 126-10 Edmund then goes on to beguile his father into believing that Edgar his other legitimate
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