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Word Count: 1,318
Themes from Leading Men The act of creating and developing a character called characterization not only establishes a character but serves as a means for the author to reveal the themes of the play A literary character is the invention of the author and often inventions are indebted to prior inventionsKirsch 236 Therefore through characterization many common themes repeat with in an authors literary collection Shakespeare is the inventor of many characters and throughout his plays themes often reappear Macbeth and King Lear two of Shakespeares tragedies exemplify this technique The protagonists of these two plays Macbeth and King Lear by means of their actions thoughts and words reveal a theme to the audience Shakespeare has many portraits of madness among his characters and he returns to the theme again and again Indirect characterization in the form of Lears mad speeches allows Shakespeare to convey the theme of madness For example one of Lears first speeches after wit begin to turn Poor naked wretches wheresoeer you are That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm How shall your household heads and unfed sidesYour loopd and windowd raggedness defend youIIIiv35-38 Lears insanity increases over the course of the play demonstrated to the audience through more speeches until his emotions overthrow his reason at the climax of the play Lear erratically shouts in to the storm Rumble thy bellyfull Spit fire Spout rain Nor rain wind thunder fire are my daughters I tax not you you elements with unkindness I never gave you kingdom called you childrenIIIii14-17 The example of Lear invoking the storm to destroy the seeds of matter along with many other absurd statements illustrates that he has an unsound mind and it is made clear to the audience by his words Shakespeare expands on the theme of madness in King Lear by Lear again using his words to express the reason for his insanity The cause is the realization that his
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