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Sweet Yet Tart

Shakespeare, King Lear Acts 3-5 -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

"The weight of this sad time we must obey,
Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.
The oldest hath borne most; we that are young
Shall never see so much nor live so long."

Shakespeare was one of my first experiences of reading that didn't end "happily ever after". I have to admit that when I read for pleasure I like it when the ending has closure and the good guys win. But when it comes to the ending of this play, we are left with a bittersweet taste so to say. In theory it is happily ever after, but it can't be after almost all the good guys die...could it? When I read it the first time last year, I didn't really catch onto this element of the play, but really it is interesting how Shakespeare doesn't end it completely. I have actually grown to love this element in writing because it leave more up to the readers mind. How boring would this be if King Lear and all his buddies just conquered the bad guys with no problem? There would literally be almost NO point to the play at all!


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Comments (2)

Derek Tickle:

I agree with you when you say this was not a happy ending. I stated in my blog that it seemed as though almost everyone died, one after another in the end. I also think that it is interesting that you say the good guys have died so how can it be happy? I am not sure either because not many people are left except for a few including Kent, Albany, and Edgar. I agree that the play ends without a concise conclusion. The last line states that, "They exit with a dead march." Very good point about the play!


I don't Bethany. I ended up being very disappointed in this particular Shakespeare play. To me, there really were not any "good guys" at all, let alone to stay alive while the evil bad guys died. Everyone was sort of tricky. I think Cordelia is the closest to being good, but, I am not sure even about that.

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