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Many themes are evident in King Lear but perhaps one of themost prevalent relates to the theme of justice Shakespeare hasdeveloped a tragedy that allows us to see mans decent intochaos Although Lear is perceived as a man more sinned againstthan sinning p62 the treatment of the main charactersencourages the reader to reflect on the presence or lack ofjustice in this world The characters also vary in theirinclination to view the world from either a fatalistic ormoralistic point of view depending on their beliefs about thepresence or absence of a higher power The theme of justice inrelation to higher powers can be illustrated from the perspectiveof King Lear Gloucester and Edgar When reading King Lear it is helpful to understand theElizabethan Chain of Being in which nature is viewed as orderRosenblatt 1984 states that there was a belief in anestablished hierarchy within the universe Everything had itsown relative position beginning with Heaven the Divine Beingand the stars and planets which are all above On earth the kingis next then the nobles on down to the peasantry Holding thelowest position were the beggars and lunatics and finally theanimals Interrupting this order is unnatural King Lears sin was that he disrupted this chain of being byrelinquishing his throne By allowing his daughters and theirhusbands to rule the kingdom the natural order of things wasdisturbed His notion that he can still be in control afterdividing the kingdom is a delusion According to Elizabethanphilosophy it would seem that this is the beginning of hismistakes and is also the cause of much of the misfortune thatoccurs later on in the play Chaos rules the unnatural As well King Lear makes another devastating mistake whichaffects his relationship with his daughters by asking them totell him how much they love him in order that he may divide hiskingdom according to the strength of their love Cordelia theyoungest daughter states that she loves her father according toher
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