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King Lear and the Injustice

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King Lear and the Injustice

English literature contains many wonderful themes. Perhaps one of the most important themes is injustice. One can see this theme obviously in many English plays and novels. Injustice is defined as lack of fairness. Many famous characters and well-known philosophers focus on the injustice as Martin Luther King who said: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." The admirable writer William Shakespeare writes about injustice in King Lear. Through the play, Shakespeare speaks of the injustice of man and also the gods, relating suffering to the injustice of the gods and showing the effect of suffering on others due to man's injustice. Many characters in the play suffer as a result of other's injustice and some suffers from the injustice of god's as well.

King Lear play presents many different types of injustice. Direct injustice is manifest in the play. When King Lear banishes his servant Kent cruelly he says: "Five days we do allot thee for provision to shield thee from disasters of the world and on the sixth to turn thy hated back upon our kingdom.'' (Shakespeare 1.1.197). King Lear orders Kent to take his things and leave; although Kent is innocent. Kent tries to let him amend his judgment, so nothing is wrong. Kent suffers from Lear's injustice; he must leave his work and community. Another direct injustice occurs toward Cordelia; King Lear banishes Cordelia his lovely daughter. One may think that she has done a contemptible thing, but actually what she has done is a product of lack of words. She is not able to express her love to her father. When King Lear asks Cordelia about what she can say to him to express her love, she says "Nothing, my lord." (1.1.96); maybe the reader thinks that she does not love her father, but actually she does. Cordelia says: "I love your Majesty according to my bond, no more nor less. " (1.1.101); here she proclaims that she loves her father but she fails to express her love properly. Cordelia suffers from her father's injustice; Cordelia must leave her house, parents, and country too. King Lear shows direct injustice toward Cordelia and Kent by banishing them although they have not committed a catastrophe action.

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Another case where the play reflects direct injustice occurs when King Lear is treated unjustly by Regan and Goneril. Goneril treats her father severely; Goneril wants him to leave her and go to live with Regan, so Goneril asks Oswald to treat her father badly saying: "Put on what weary negligence you please, you and your fellows. I'd have it come to question. If he distastes it, let him to my sister."(1.3.13).The reader will notice what Goneril keeps inside her heart , but eventually she upbraids her father and orders him that he should dispatch some of his knights. King Lear does what Goneril plans for; he goes to live with Regan assuming that she will treat him as he hopes but, nothing differs between the two foul sisters, Regan, as well as Goneril treats Lear unethically, she refuses to house him and tells him to go back to Goneril and apologize to hear. Lear complains to Regan about the grave injustice that her sister treats him with by saying: "Thy sister's naught. O Regan, she hath tied sharp-toothed unkindness, like a vulture, here. (Indicates his heart) I can scarce speak to thee. Thou'lt not believe with how depraved a quality-- O Regan!" (2.4.125). Lear suffers from Regan's and Gonerils's injustice as he is outside in the storm with no place to go .Now, the reader will see how King Lear suffers from injustice the same as Cordelia and Kent. The previous events support the idea of King Lear fault, as he banishes the girl who loves him the most, while he rewards the two daughters who treat him callously.

Within different characters, direct injustice appears too. Edmund stirs up a conflict between Glouster and Edgar, where both are victims of Edmund's injustice. Edmund tries to demonstrate to his father that he is the loyal son, while his brother Edgar is a traitor. As a result to Edmund's injustice; Gloucester suffers from blindness as he thinks Edmund is the loyal son and Edgar, as well as Gloucester, suffers from poverty and his disguise as a mad man. Here, one will see the direct injustice which is directed towards Edgar. Afterwards, Gloucester realizes that Edgar is the loyal son while Edmund is not, so he fell in the same mistake as Lear, he makes wrong judgments. Now, the reader knows some examples of direct injustice in King Lear play. Direct injustice is obvious in the play, as the reader notices, Shakespeare relates Lear's suffering to his daughter's injustices, Gloucester's and Edgar's suffering to Edmund's injustice, and also he relates Edgar's suffering in his disguise to the injustice of the gods.

In addition to direct injustice, the play reflects divine injustice through different events. Lear recognizes the miserable state of Edgar who is disguised as Tom in his poverty and madness, and relates this to the injustice of the gods. Lear points to how gods are cruel and unjust to them, so he asks heaven to be more just with them .King Lear wonders how poor homeless creatures survive in this storm: "O, I have ta'en, too

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little care of this! Take physic, pomp, Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel, that thou mayst shake the superflux to them, and show the heavens more just." (3.4.37).



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