The play of King Learis about the downfall of Lear from the highest place human being can possess to the lowest place almost to the level of the beast in The Great Chain of Being. The Chain of Being is a philosophical believedriven from Greek mythology to the Renaissance. It is about the concept of universe and how everything in the world has its position fix by God. Shakespeare is influenced by this concept and he uses it to develop the events of his plays:Macbeth,Tempest and King Lear. Shakespeare opens the play of King Lear with idealistic view of monarchy under the law of Chain of Being.
King is superior and head of monarchy, well powered and respected. The wicked and illegitimate people are clearly identified and suppressed. Children obey their father s order, and everything is ordered and controlled. But when King Lear decides to his kingdom between his three daughters, he breaks the law ordained by God which leads to break the Chain of being and create chaos. With his unnatural decisions,KingLear generates disorder first in his own family,and thenthedisorder extendsto the monarchy and end up to reach the whole universe.
In breaking the Chain, exchanges the rules between father and children; good and bad; legitimate and illegitimate; wise and wicked. It becomes hard to identify the reality pure from bastard, loyal from betrayer. The lower people from base and servants rise to be called loyal and king. Meanwhile, the higher people such as king and father are descended to the very base level and ruled by their children. With the breaking the chain, more wickedpeople appeared and empowered, while the honest people are tortured and banished. King Lear d is descended from Royal Lear to Lady s father then just
Lear shadow end up to become naked man. His power is descended from king to 100 men, then 50 till he end up to be in the company of mad Tom and fool in the storm. He expects to have a power of God or sometime he sees himself above God but end up realizing that he is not even ague-proof. This paper starts with describing the philosophical believe of The Chain of Being in Renaissance and Shakespeare s time. Then I will argue that King Lear breaks the Chain of being by disobeying the law of succession, as a result he descends the highest level in the link ofhuman being to the lowest level.
The Chain of Being is a philosophicalbelief of nature that everything exists has its place in the chain. The concept is originally established and developed by Greek philosophers, Plato and Aristotle. Then this ideology is vastly believed and used in Renaissance and Elizabethan work of art. It is hierarchical structure of all matter and lifeandorganized according to the spirit anddesire, the more spirit the object has the higher place it locate in the hierarchy order of the chain. The chain is divided in to six mainlinks and each link has its own subdivision.
Themain level consists ofGod in the top then angels, human beings animal, plants and the rest of inanimate objects. Each higher order possessing all powers of those below it in the scale (Lovejoy 59). The Chainis organized bases on intellect, capability and mobility of the creature or objects, the more intellectual, capable and adaptable creature possess the higher level it becomes in the hierarchy ofthechain of being. Human have a higher level than animal because they have a control on animals. Human being is leveled between angels and beasts. Angels are in the above level in the Chain of Being.
The angels are considers as a spiritual beings, they have greater ability than human and rest of the creatures lower than man, therefore they possess ahigher level in the Great Chain of Being. Meanwhile, beasts are in the lower level since human being has more abilities and obtain intellectuality over animal. Human being level is unstable; depend on the nature, faith and loyalty of individual. In the human nature, the emotion and desire should be ruled by reason. The different between human nature and beast isthat thehuman desire is ruled by reason.
Since human being is movable in the hierarchy, the best position human being may possess is the central of his position in the division and subdivisions of the hierarchy and social order. Human being is intheperfect value,when theyact accordingly. Any change from the proper place decided by the Chain is considered to be a betrayal to the chain and damage of the nature decided by God. If the individual of human beingattempts to go above theplace ordained by Chain of being, it will consider as a hypocrite for attempting to equalize and challenging God s power.
That what we observe in King Lear when he become too proud of his power and thinks of obtaining Gods power over nature. It is called Chain becauseall the links are connectedto each other, the break of the chain cause disorder in the rest of the realm. The higher place creature possesses the more influence it is in the Chain. That s what we observe in Shakespeare s playKing Lear. When King Lear breaks the Chain,he brings the disorder to his family because he is father and head of the family, then the disorder comes to the monarchy for being the king and continues to thewhole universe.
It influences every links below him in the hierarchy and cause outrage of the above links in the Chain. Human beings are treated like an animal and even less. Other human acts like animals following being controlled by lust, wrath of God in storm against Lear; there is exchanging in the rule and none of the ruler acts wisely. The In medieval and Renaissance literature, Nature serves as God s vicar, controlling the movement of various heavenly bodies, the weather on earth, and the life processes of birth, growth, ageing, sickness, and death (Moore169).
The play begins with a typical form of social order. A trumpet is sounded, and a coronet is borne into the state of chamber, and then there follow, in order of rank and precedence, the power of the state: King Lear;his sonin law, the Dukes of Albany and Cornwell; and his daughters, in the order oftheir ages Garber (652). This order attendance of the characters on the stage represents the order of hierarchy in the monarchy and shows the right of succession one after other. According to law of succession in the monarchy, if the Kingabdicatesthe throne, his older son is thefirst one to ascend the throne.
But if the king doesn have any son such asKing Lear, then the older daughter holdthe first right of succession, that s why Prince Harry,the older son of king Henry inHenry IV,is chosen forthesuccessionof the king. If the daughter is married then her husband has the right of succession. That is why we see the Duke of Albany enter the stage after King Lear, despite the fact that he isnot the onlyson of law of the king, but he possess the right of older son since he is married to older daughter. In the first conversation between Kent and Gloucester, Kent expects: the king had more affected the Duke of Albany than Cornwall 1. . 1-2). This predicts according to the natural law of monarchy the elections should be between Albany and Cornwall. Queen ElizabethI of England (1533-1603)is another justification for husband s right of success. Jay L. HalioinThe Tragedy of King Learpredicts that king Lear s first performance to be in 1606. The performance is only three years after the death of QueenElizabeth;this indicates that theyshare similar rule and belief. Queen Elizabeth refuses to marry and thus relinquish power to a man Cummins(259).
The Queen knows that if sheaccepts any proposal of arriage, she will have to sacrifice her power to her husband and obey him. If we apply that onKing Learand right of succession, then Albany is the first successor to the throneafter KingLear, since he is thehusband of the older daughter of the King. The Chain of Being is a typical structure for the politic of the human world. In the Renaissance believes; monarchy is ordained by God and King is a representation of God and divine right on earth. To rebel against king is sin against politic of the monarchy or state and against God as well.
King has a moral responsibility to God and his people as well. It is the responsibilities of king to rule with justice, wisdom and love. It is against the morality of the king and disobedient to God if King neglects his responsibilities. As the play begins the audience is confronted with kingly power in all majesty, mankind apparently accommodated with everything it can imagine or desire. At the center of this work is theking (Garber653)Shakespeare open the play ofKing Learwith the protagonist, the head of hierarchy of human being is deciding to break the chain by dividing the kingdom between his three daughters.
King Lear proclaims: Meantime we shall express our darker purpose the darker purpose iswhatunexpectedby everyone in the monarchy, the division against the law andcreation of disorder: know that we have divided in the three our kingdom. First as a King and superior and ruler, it is impossible for his nature to accept the rulesfromthelowerpeople in the nobility. He is descending his position in the hierarchy from king to a servant. Also there is two level descend as a father to give the authority to his daughter.
Because in family hierarchy, older son comes in the authority after father and daughters are bellow sons. In order forking to choice female instead of male for the nobility and as a father to choice daughter instead of son descend him two levels. The second cause of breaking hierarchy is to divide the kingdom. The ideal for the rulers demands unity, not division a single king, a stronger ruler, and one who is prepared to choosea public life over private one (Garber653). King Lear s kingdom is natural and powerful because it is united.
Albany is ancient and literary name of Scotland; Cornwall, of southwest of England. Together the sons of law represent Great United Britain under King Lear s authority (Garber652). The more united the kingdoms are, the stronger and safer they become. All conflicts in the worlds happen because of the existing of more than a master. If the entire world has only master to follow; one religion; one way of believing, the world would be much peaceful and safer for every human being. The chaos of the worlds comes from masters. It is not Oswald to follow Ganoril and ignore Lear.
His duty is to follow his master and he does what his master asks him to do. Yet he is punished, and then killed for his loyal service. King Lear wants to create his own rules away from the rules given to him by God. The king should understand the obligation is to hold together the state and unify its people yet we have king who tries to violate every singlerule (Garber653). He wants to oppose the elder right of succession for the intention to giving more to the youngest one. King Lear tries to impose his natural believe in unnatural way.
Learnaturally knows that his youngest daughter,Cordelia,loves him more than the other two older daughters. Therefore, he tries to use herlove power to overcome the power of the other daughter, Goneril and Regan. Basically, the children of noble families are trained how to behave as a noble and acts of autocracyfrom childhood. Thatiswhat we see inHenry IV part 1whenKing Henryblames his son Prince Harry for beingin the company of poor rather than nobles to learn about the customs of monarchylike what every child of kings suppose to do for their future succession.
If King Lear judges his daughtersfairly,and divides his kingdom base on nobility, thenHisyoungest daughter, Cordelia will defiantly fail,because the elder s have spent longer life and earned better experience. For that reason King Lear turns tothepower of love to rise the opportunity of Cordelia s success. In Lear sbelieve, the use of love test as a game will eventually success him to convince the older daughters. Goneril and Reganhave the same nature as King Lear and know how to play his game. They flatter the king and success in the love test in unnatural way.
King Lear in the hand is satisfied with their respond because he is not wise enough to recognize wise speech from flatter. According to the natural law women are property of their parents till they married, after married they will transfer to become the property of the husband. Goneril responds for quantity of love she has for her father: A love that makes breath poor and speech unable. /Beyond all manner of so much I love you (1. 1. 60-61). Regan proclaims: I profess /Myself an enemy to all other joys,/Which the most precious square of sense possesses.
And find I am alone felicitate/In your dear highness’ love. (1. 1. 71-75)Their descriptions of love for their father is more like romantic love between lovers, their love remind us of Oedipus knot and actincest. Itis only husband and wife love that could be bare of any limitation and beyond allmanners. They will be more like prostitute to love someone that much behind their husbands. This is all unnatural and against the order of family hierarchy. Cordelia refuses to break the chain and deceive her father; her answer is
According to my bond, no more nor less (1. 1. 93), as daughter should lover her father with respect and obedience. This is quintessence of the natural. But Lear, whose language , like that of elder daughters, has been sprinkles through the scene with legalisms, with care and business, interest of territory, worth, deeds, and property, mistakes the natural for the unnatural, the bond of love for the bond of financial contract (Garber655). Cordelia wantsto remind Lear with nature that is ruled with reason and intellect, she proclaims:
Why have my sisters husbands if they say/They love you all (1. 1. 99-00) Cordelia summaries the woman bond with father and husband and says: Haply when I shall wed/That lord whose hand must take my plight shall carry/Half my love with him, half my care and duty (1. 1. 100-04). But his unnatural way of thinking turns everything upside down. Later on,Lear himself reveals that hedoes not wantto give the largest portion of land tothe daughter who said she loves him most, but to Gordelia, when he declares:
I loved her most and thought to set my rest/On her kind nursery (1. 1. 125-26). His admission betrays his interest in manipulating his kingdom, his power, and his daughters to satisfy his personal needfor Gordelia’s kind nursery (Alfar380). Lear s arrogant personality, unable him to think wisely or listen to those people lower than him in the social order. Lear is astonished by his most beloved daughter s response to the point that he loses his control and swears to the God that she is no more his daughter, banish her and refuse to give her any portion of land.
This is hubris, overweening pride, and presumptuousness, not only a violation of Lear s responsibility as a king and man, but also tempering with the bonds of nature, as his youngest daughter, Cordelia, well knows (Garber654). The second tries for amendment of Lear s thinking and deciding is made by Kent: See better, Lear, and let me still remain/The true blank of thine eye (1. 1. 162-63). Lear responds to Kent s awareness: Come not between the dragon and his wrath (1. 1. 120).
Lear is both:the dragon, the sign of Britain rom Norman time onward, and the wrathful king- a king who think he has the power of angrygod (Garber659). Lear thinks of himself in the above level of human being in the Chain of Being. Kent describes his responsibility andnatural way of love that is obligatory duty for everyone under natural law of king. Kent says: Royal Lear,/ Whom I have ever honored as my king,/Loved as my father, as my master followed,/As my great patron thought on in my prayers(1. 1. 143-45). Theseare necessary social roles and costumed of accommodatedman and Lear rejects them all (Garber 658).
He has banished two of close people to him, first one is Cordelia who is dearest daughter banishing her is breaking the hierarchy ofthe family and right after that he banishesnoble Kent that is the beginning of the destruction of monarchy. Lear moral blindness, he drive himself not only from his kingdom, hisdaughters, and his roles as a king and father, but also of those other crucial roles as master and patron (Garber658). But Kent is wiseenough to see the disorder, he says: Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here (1. 1. 184). In King Lear the degradation occurs gradually, step by step.
Lear divided his kingdom and give away his power, but wanted to remain a king. He believes that a king could not cease to be a king (Kott166). Right after Lear s abdication, he orders the banishment of his daughter, Cordelia, and his loyal nobleman, Kent. Lear srandom and rash decision breaks the Chain of Being and cause disorder in nature, morality and hierarchy of his own family. Then the disorder come to the monarchy for being the leading family of the monarchy, then gradually disorder speared like a rapid transit disease in the relations, nature and faith of other family and realms.
In dividing his kingdom, he isdescended fromthe level of human being in the chain of being to the level of beast. By breaking the chain, All bonds, all laws, whether divine, natural or human, are broken. Social order, from the kingdom to the family, will crumble into the dust. There are no longer kings and subjects, father and children, husband and wives. There are only huge Renaissance monsters, devouring one another like beasts of prey (Kott153). Children start to follow their desire and emotion away from morality and reason. Theylose their spirituality andbeginto follow their instinct and worldly desire.
Lear attempts to escape his responsibilities as a ruler and father, while maintaining his privileges, with horrifying results. No matter how much the outcome disturbs us, Shakespeare implies that a king s sins and errors may damage or destroy all around him (Moore187). King Lear has to pay for the result of his wrong decision, the first encounter of degradation Lear faces, is when the servant OswaldpassesbyLear and his knightswithoutshowing respectand insult him by calling him My lady s father (1. 4. 69). Lear loses his name from loyal king to a father only.
Then the downfall of the Lear s respect moves gradually. Goneril and Regan feel the injustice rule Lear applies on Cordelia. Goneril says: He[Lear]always loved our sister[Cordelia]most, and with what poor judgment he hath now cast her off appears too grossly (1. 1. 298-99). Therefore, they decide a conspiracy against him to secure their position If our father carry authority with such dispositions as he bears, this last surrender of his will but offend us (1. 1. 311. 13). If Lear is still King as he think of himself, then the two daughters are committing double sins.
The first sin is to belittle and disrespect Lear as a father, the second one is King is representationof God on earth, to disobey the king is as sinful as disobeying God. Gonerilwickedness begins right after her ascendant to the throne, the first thing she does against her father face to face iscomplain about his knights for the purpose todecrease the number of his knights from 100 to 50. Learresists her order and her dissatisfaction with his knight s behaviors. He accuses her: hou liest! /My train are men of choice and rarest parts/That all particulars of duty know/And in the most exact regard support/The worships of their name (1. . 253-57). Learis surprisedabout this unnatural behavior, it is unexpected from the daughter that born naturally and grown in the best regular life of the monarchy to behave rudely. Learasks Goneril Are you our daughter (1. 4. 227), this immoral attitude toward parents can be only expected from illegitimate people.
Lear asks Goneril about her identity to confirm his authority if not as a king but at least as a father. When Goneril continuo totreat him in the most savageway;Lear realizes the descentof hermorality. He calls Goneril: Degenerate bastard, I ll not trouble thee. Yet have I left a daughter (1. 4. 42-43). Lear understands his elder daughter to be inferior to Cordelia, but he does not expect that it is possible for a legitimate daughter to be socruel and ungrateful. He thinks that unkindness of his daughters argues for their illegitimacy, even while he thinks he knows they are legitimate (McDonald 16). Lear is shocked by the outcome of isirrational decision,the unnatural responds of his daughter makes him lose his identity: Who is it that can tell me who I am (1. 4. 218). Within the first meeting with his daughter, we can observe a rapid downfall of Lear.
He loses his respect as a King, then his power and dignity as afather;he ends up suspecting his own name and identity. What is left for him is only his shadow. According to the natural law of husband and wife, theposition that Gonerial and Regan rules should be possessed by their husbands, and decision they make should be with the satisfaction and observation of their husband. But they ignore the rules of social order. They make their decision without counseling their husband. And they disrespect their father, king and superior. They are sinful for disobeying their husbands.
Albany says: My lord, I am guiltless, as I am ignorant,/Of what hath moved you (1. 4. 265), as a husband, who supposes to decide everything butwhen he show upon the stage and seesthe quarrelbetweenLear and his wife, he apologizes and tries to calm down the situation. Albany asks Goneril: whereof comes this she replies: Never afflict yourself to know more of it (1. 4. 284-85). Goneril does not let Albany to even interfere what she is doing. Albany tells Goneril: Well, you may fear too far , she responds: Safer than trust too far. /Let me still take away the harms I fear,/Not fear still to be taken. I know his heart (1. 4. 324-27).
Goneril issimilar in behavingunnaturallyand breaking the laws,that s why she is aware of his heart and his intention. Lear has at first a retinue of a hundred man, then fifty, then only one. Kent is banished by one angry gesture of the king. But the process of degradation is always the same. Everything that distinguishes a man is titles, social position, even name is lost. Names are not needed anymore. Everyone is just a shadowof himself; just a man (Kott154). Kent deprives himself from all the names and position of the monarchy after being corrupted and return to serve king as a loyal man, A man, sir ,natural and pure from worldly desires.
Regan is the only hope left for Lear after he banishes Cordelia and cursesGoneril. Lear leaves Goneril house and heads to Regan s house, but before he meets Regan, he finds his messenger, Kent, is stocked. When Lear meets Regan, She receives him warmly and says: I am glad to see your highness (2. 4. 118). Lear answers for that is very aggressive, he proclaims: if thou shouldst not be glad,/I would divorce me from thy mother s tomb,/Sepulchring an adultress (2. 4. 120-22)Lear expects a respond of illegitimate people from Regan too because to Lear she is no different from her older sister.
So before even Regan argues with him, Lear tells her that they make him suspect their mother of committing adultery. Regan tells Lear: You should be ruled and led/By some discretion that discerns your state/Better than you yourself 2. 4. 141-43). Regan degrades Lear by telling him, he is so powerless and retired that he is barely able to take care of himself than leading 100 knights. Regan tells Lear to return to Goneril and ask for forgiveness. This is the last thing king may expectbut that is how nature work in the disordered hierarchy. Lear falls in the trap of the two daughters Goneril and Regan.
He begsthem to return his power and identity but they argue that he does not need it. Lear claims: Allow not nature more than nature needs,/Man s life s as cheap as beast s (2. 4. 263-64). The irony in the speech is king Lear believes in nature and how everything should be according to the natural law of human being. He knows if human being acts unnaturally they will be descended to the level of beast. Illegitimacy and adultery is considered against the natural duty of human beings and leads to descend human being to the level of the beast, but he does not blame himself for being the reasonbehind all the chaos.
Lear and others now begin to speak of pelican daughters; of tigers, not daughters; of dog-hearted daughters; of sharp-toothed unkindness, like a vulture; of nails that flay a wolfish visage. A whole cluster of monsters is summoned up, in effect, by Lear s initial action in dividing his kingdom, and in wishing to do what no human being and certainly no king can do: to unburdened crawl toward death (Garber660). Lear tries to resist the realityof losing his kingdom. He stillthinksof himself as a king, center of court and world.
TheRenaissance believesthat king is father of his people and rule by divine right; it is religious duty to obey the command of King(Patrick239). But Lear think of himself as possessing the power of God. Heis proud and ignorant. He thinks he can challenge everything in the universe. He tries to challenge the wrath of Godthat reveals in thenature. Lear addresses storm and says: Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage, blow! /You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout/Till you have drenched our steeples, drowned the cocks! (3. 2. 1-3). He accuses God for unfairness of raising his daughters against him.
Lear says: 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. 3. 2. 21-24). The storm scene is a learning experience for Lear and his audience, as it was for his time (Garber 671). Lear is hypocrite to challenge and accuse God of being unjust and unfair toward him, thereforehe receives punishment from God by storm since nature works as a means to punish andcautionhuman being for their disobedience. Lear continues in his challenges until he drives to the madness.
The madness in the other hand leads him to self realization. Heacceptsthe reality that he does not possess any mighty power over human being. Most evidently, and perhaps most importantly, madness permits the maddened victim to speak the truth (Garber678) Lear states: They told me I was everything;tis a lie, I am not ague-proof (4. 5. 102). He realizes that he has been flattered all hislife byhis daughters and fellow man by telling him he is superior to other men as god. Lear learns that he is not master of the elements, one who could raise the tempest and be obeyed by wind and sea. He s not king by nature (McDonald 18).
This self-realization isturning point for King Lear. Before the storm, Lear is not wise enough to judge fairly and feel the sorrow of vulnerable people of the monarchy. Fool tells Lear Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst been wise (1. 5. 36-37). But after the storm we see Lear for the first time concern about poor people. The figure of Edgar, disguised as a Poor Tom often homeless and out of work, men whose very existence in was viewed by the monarch as a threat to civil order and authority (Garber651). Lear says: Oh, I have ta’en/Too 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. 33-37). Lear acknowledge for the first time how it is like to be poor, naked wretch and helpless.
He realizes that his fellow men are only there in the monarchy to take advantage from king and poor people. They have no feeling of humanity toward needy people. Lear begins to blame himselfand confess the reality that he has been sinful through his injustice ruling of monarchy. But his sin in not as big as other peoplehassinned against him. Lear states: I am a man/More sinned against than sinning (3. . 57-58). Also Lear experience that human being through suffering can distinguish between what is necessary to be done and what is not. Lear suggests ifall rich people go through what Lear been through, their hard heart may turn soften and distribute their superfluous on the needy people. Lear discovers his riginal identity when he sees naked; disguisedEdgar.
Humanity is surrounded with wealth and power, robes and furs, warmth, food and attendants the radical opposite of the vision the play s third act will supply, when Lear will tell naked and tattered poor Tom unaccommodated man (3. . 105). The artificial clothes and worldly appearancehide the reality of human beings. Thecustom pervade nature is conjoined with an ignorance of the evil which can be released if custom falls (McDonald 79). Breaking the Chain of Being occasions fall of the customs and uncover the true identity of wicked people. When the natural law is broken,corrupted people reveals to take advantage of the situation, Goneril and Regan acts properly under the Lear s throne, but within the downfall of Lear from authority, their evil personality come to the existence.
In the storm, Lear reaches to the lowest levelof human being may descend in the Chain of Being, very close to the level of beast. Learis in the company ofnaked Edgar near to beast a poor, bare, forked animal (3. 4. 106) or father more, Learstarts to call him Noblephilosopher (3. 4. 161). Parallel to Lear plot and his daughter, there is subplot of Gloucester and his sons. They both have good and bad children and in both ofthem,the good child ispunished and the bad one is honored. King Lear is deceived by flatter speech of Goneril and Regan while Cordelia is banished forbeing honest.
Gloucester plot is similar to Lear s plot starts with natural law of the hierarchy; he differentiates betweenhisillegitimateson,Edmund,from legitimate son, Edgar. According to the Law illegitimate people are born unnatural and they will produce unnatural offspringand create disorder in the society. Gloucesterinformsothers from the danger of his illegitimate son and tells Kent in the opening scene: Do you smell a fault (1. 1. 15). he tells Kent thatEdmundis born out of marriage and for him it is something he is ashamed to mention. Shakespeare defines the meaning and act of illegitimacy by both Gloucester and Lear.
Gloucesterdescribes thereal bastard to have Edmund s mother grew round-wombed, and had indeed, sir, a son for her cradle ere she had a husband for her bed (1. 1. 13-14). But Lear describes the act of bastard when his daughter, Goneril, degrades him, he asks Goneril: Are you my daughter (1. 4. 227) as if he is telling her, are you naturally born. This indicates that both Lear andGloucester are aware of the danger and outcome of illegitimate children. Edmund in his first soliloquydeclares: Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land. /Our father s love is to the bastard Edmund/ As to the legitimate (1. . 18 20), the bastard Edmund announces his intention of stealing the birthright of his older, legitimate brother Edgar, specifically the lands and title of theirfather, the Earl of Gloucester (Moore187).
Edmund manages totake advantage of the sudden changes in the monarchy. Hedeceiveshis father by forgedletter of conspiracy. His plan of treachery begins with the beginning of social disorder in Lear s family. The rise of Edmund amid the fall of Lear is the single most important consequence of general disruption of the kingdom, and the greatest danger to Britain (McDonald 55).
Gloucester believes that thechanges of natureare resultofthe break inthe Great Chain of Being. He says: These late eclipses in the sunand moon portend no good to us (1. 2. 103)he is aware of the negative outcome of disorder: Love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide, in citiesmutinies, in countries discord, in palaces treason, and the bond cracked twixt son and father (1. 2. 106-09). He is fully conscious about every defect in the monarchy and he tries to prepare himself for confronting it. Yet his preparations are not fully accurate.
Hetries to tell others to be careful while dealing with illegitimate, but he himself fall in the trap of his illegitimate son. In the other hand Edmund makes fun of natural changes as a reflection of bad deed of human being. Edmund has decided to get Edgar land and create dissension between his brother and his father, a division serve enough to arouse Gloucester to call for his son s life (Rubinstein246).