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Word Count: 422
1 The opening scene in any play is always a crucial one this is especially true in William Shakespeares King Lear The opening scene in King Lear serves to introduce the characters and the plot line and to show disorder in the Elizabethan order which is a main theme in the play In the first scene of King Lear all of the main characters are introduced beginning with Kent and Gloucester King Lear Goneril Regan Cordelia Albany and Cornwall soon follow Shakespeare informs the audience of who the daughters are at the same point that he reveals his intentions to divide the kingdom Tell me my daughters since now will we divest us both of rule Interest of territory cares of state Which of you shall we say doth love us most Shakespeare King Lear Act 1 Scene 1 47-50 This is one of Shakespeares abilities not to squander time in explaining who the characters are instead he provides information as the play continues not interrupting the natural flow of the play The plot of Lear dividing the kingdom is also presented in the first scene This has many effects to modern readers it sets the plot but for the audience of Shakespeares time it had a more profound effect The division of the kingdom would be horrifying for the Elizabethan audience to witness They would see this as a direct cause of the disorder that is evident in subsequent scenes Disorder is a main theme in King Lear and its seeds are sewn in the first scene of the play When Lear divides the kingdom he causes the natural order that the Elizabethan audience hold as a means
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