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Word Count: 1,141
A characteristic of Shakespeares tragedies is that the tragic hero goes through a series of changes that enlighten him in one way or another This trend holds true for Lear of King Lear Though na and foolish in the beginning Shakespeare leads Lear through a rough series of events that change the inept king to a more mature and wise man Through Lears suffering not only does the former king grow more senile but he also becomes wiser simultaneously Exposure to human cruelty is a powerful force in changing ones character or outlook on life and Lear epitomizes this as the accretion of cruelty upon him grows while Lears becoming wiser and kinder is shown to be proportional to his treatment King Lears arrogance and foolishness is evident through his gullibility and rash decisions as shown from the opening of the play As king Lear believed that he was always right and knew everything His overconfidence led him to reason that he should give away his kingdom depending on what his daughters say to please him Though untrue Lear thought that he was an excellent judge of character and did not listen to Kents advice at all Furthermore as king Lear felt that everyone should love him and worship him Thus he did not think that Regan and Goneril would lie to him in such a way On the other hand Lears basic flaw at the beginning of the play is that he values appearances above reality He wants to be treated as a king and to enjoy the title but he doesnt want to fulfill a kings obligations of governing for the good of his subjects Similarly his test of his daughters demonstrates that he values a flattering public display of love over real love He doesnt ask which of you doth love us most but rather which of you shall we say doth love us most Most readers conclude that Lear is simply
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