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Word Count: 502
Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive Sir Walter Scott may not have intended to describe the tangled web of secrets that fuels Shakespeares tragedy King Lear but it certainly applies Secrets come in many shapes and sizes and in works of literature they can be categorized as either secrets that are unknown to the reader or secrets that unknown to the characters In King Lear the secrets are kept from the characters As in many great tragedies it is the secrets in Shakespeares King Lear that cause the tragedy to occur In the first scene of King Lear Lear tells his youngest daughter that nothing will come of nothing referring to her refusal to profess her love for him but unfortunately for him he was dead wrong Lear refuses to recognize that his two eldest daughters are evil and only his youngest truly loves him This is the secret in the story the two older daughters hide their wickedness behind a mask of kind words and Lear allows the secret to remain a secret by his unwillingness to accept the fact that his daughters do not love him What follows plunges Lear into the depths of hell and then through his eventual realization of this secret he is able to redeem himself Shakespeare writes this story in a manner that the reader understands the cause of Lears problems but Lear himself does not This draws the reader into the story because the reader knows that Lears actions will lead to his downfall As the story progresses the reader begins feeling very sympathetic towards Lear because they understand the failure of Lear to expose the secret Without the secret however a lot of heartbreak would have been saved but there would have been no story For it is the secret and the subsequent heartbreak that draws the reader into the story The overall effect of this secret
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