King Lear

When does Lear become both sympathetic and heroic?

I know it's during the storm in Scene 2 but I'm not sure of what part exactly. (line to line)

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Rumble thy bellyful! 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 children.

You owe me no subscription. Why then, let fall

Your horrible pleasure. Here I stand, your slave—

A poor, infirm, weak, and despised old man.

But yet I call you servile ministers,

That will with two pernicious daughters joined

Your high engendered battles 'gainst a head

So old and white as this. Oh, ho! 'Tis foul.

He that has a house to put ’s head in has a good headpiece.

The codpiece that will house

Before the head has any—

The head and he shall louse.

So beggars marry many.

The man that makes his toe

What he his heart should make

Shall of a corn cry woe,

And turn his sleep to wake.

For there was never yet fair woman but she made mouths

in a glass.

I believe Lear becomes most sympathetic as he standing outside in the storm lamenting the way his daughters have treated him, and the fools reminder that

a man who kicks away the one person he should love (Cordelia in this case)

Will bring himself pain and sleepless nights.

We continue to garner sympathy when Kent tries to talk him into resting at the house in order to get out of the storm. The realization of his mistakes leads him to be foolhardy, and thus begins his descent into madness.


King Lear/ Act III/ Scene II