King Lear

Justice vs Mercy in King Lear

Hi Everyone, I am struggling to write an essay on why Justice is a key requirement in society and could use all the help I can get!!! Does anyone have any ideas, especially how this relates to King Lear?


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Justice is by far the most critical component of society in the King Lear universe. Mercy is only valid on individual basis, when the assailant actually learns from their mistakes. If we think that by forgiving constantly that the perpetrator will stop committing crimes, then we are sadly mistaken. Criminals in Shakespeare’s King Lear must be punished justifiably, for their evil behavior. Only justice and great power can attempt to restore the order of King Lear’s kingdom ruined by the dictatorship of Goneril and Regan. Only mercy could bring Lear and Cordelia together again. I think, that in this case, mercy and forgiveness go hand in hand. Justice would only destroy their relationship further.