"The Importance of Language"

Essay by jordan8900 January 2005

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Manos Mathew

English 220

Prof. Scai

In William Shakespeare's play King Lear, Shakespeare creates a play that embodies a lot of themes that are present today. Lying, treachery, ideas of love and justice, are some of the major themes that are present in this play. With these themes, Shakespeare gives King Lear a sense of timelessness and universality. The themes that Shakespeare uses, allows a reader from anywhere in this world to understand and relate to. In order to create the effect of universality, Shakespeare through his characters uses an important theme. The theme that he uses involves the use of language. Language in this play is important, because many of the characters use language to their advantage while their are others who use it plainly. Then there is a particular character in this play that uses language in such an indirect and comical way, he brings about understanding.

This play begins with the Lear asking his daughters for them to profess their love for him in front of public, so that they can inherit a portion of his kingdom. Lear had already determined who had got what portion of his kingdom, and his request to his children was for his own enjoyment. At this point both Goneril and Regan, use language to their advantage. They both attempt to profess that their love for Lear is beyond anything in the world, when in fact these two sisters are lying through their teeth. Goneril and Regan both felt that if they say what Lear wants to hear, then their father would give them the portion of the kingdom that is due to them. At this point the reader can clearly see, how language is used for the purposes of deception. These two daughters are hiding behind their words, and they...