King Lear

King Lear: A Godless Universe 12th Grade

The Christian will not find comfort in William Shakespeare’s King Lear. Imbued with the ideals of divine justice and good prevailing over evil, the Christian will be appalled as he delves into the tragedy to find pure-hearted gentlemen reduced to rags and feigned madness and deceitful characters easily duping their way into power without consequence. This is the godless universe that Shakespeare creates, setting his characters’ plots in a world devoid of the heavenly checks and balances that reward moral people and punish evildoers. A sort of bleak chaos ensues, where wrongs are not righted in the end, and the random results of these characters’ actions tend toward calamity. As the few righteous characters in the play suffer immensely, ending up in total misfortune, and the protagonist dies, after repenting for his errors, with an anguish that is never redeemed, it is clear that Shakespeare’s tragedy unfolds in a universe where divine justice has no jurisdiction.

Of the small number of honest characters in King Lear, virtually none of them are rewarded for their pure hearts. In fact, quite the opposite occurs as the honorable are stricken with misfortune and are utterly mistreated by those they come in contact with. The...

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