King Lear

What happened at the end it was tragic or not?


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Lear is generally seen as one of Shakespeare's ten tragedies. By definition the flaws in the protagonist bring about the demise of himself and many of the main characters in the play. By the end of the play there is basically carnage.

A gentleman brings in the knife Goneril used to kill herself after admitting that she poisoned Regan. The bodies are called for. Kent comes hoping to bid Lear goodbye which reminds Albany to ask about Lear and Cordelia's condition. Edmund informs them that he and Goneril had ordered Cordelia hanged so that it would look like a suicide. A servant tries to stop it but Lear enters with Cordelia's body. He had killed the man who hanged her but she does not live. Lear is inconsolable. Kent tries to say goodbye to him but Lear barely recognizes him and likely does not understand that he has been undercover as his servant Caius all along. They are told Edmund is dead. Albany gives Lear back absolute rule and Kent and Edgar their rights. Still swooning for Cordelia, Lear dies. Albany then gives Kent and Edgar shared rule but Kent notes he will soon follow Lear, thus leaving Edgar as the next King.