The dictionary known definition of a hero is someone that is very well noted for their acts of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has put their life at risk / or even sacrificed it . An example of a type of hero in King Lear is without doubt the title character King Lear . King Lear isn’t the type of hero we are used to hearing about , instead he is a tragic hero.
What is the definition of a hero ?
The way a hero is defined in the dictionary is someone that is very well noted for their acts of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has put it’s life at risk or even sacrificed it. Not anybody can be given the recognizable title of a hero . A person with the title of a hero is because they are well suited to have been given it. A hero goes out of their comfort zone to help another thing or person in need . A hero thinks more about others than it does about himself or her . A hero saves the day by making a community safer or by coming to the rescue and helping resolve a problem or situation. Heroes are not only seen in movies or books , there are lot of amazing individuals that really go out there and help when something is in need of a hero’s helping hand.
There can be many types of heroes in literacy. The focus on the hero in the play of King Lear is a type that fits the one the hero is portraying throughout the play . The type of hero shown by King Lear is a tragic hero . The requirements for a tragic hero are very different from our original idea of a hero. For a character to be classified as a tragic hero the character must have a high status in its society and must have a tragic flaw which starts the tragedy. The fall caused from the flaws of the tragic hero causes a chain reaction not only linked to him but that affects everyone around. The tragic hero usually must experience suffering and disaster throughout time. This will cause the chaos in the tragic hero’s life and will soon lead up to his death. Following after the tragic hero’s death there will be an appearance of a sense of fear and pity that will make men scared to know the truth , and this will prevent them from further knowing when fortune or something else will happen to them.
Who is the hero in King Lear and why ?
The hero in King Lear is a tragic hero and this person is the main character King Lear . King Lear has all the characteristics needed in order to be classified as a tragic hero . Although there is not really an actual hero King Lear shows another part of a hero . A tragic hero needs to at some point suffer from emotional tension. An example of this is when King Lear says Away let me die.(ACT 4,scene 6 , pg 49.) when King Lear says this it is him experiencing a strong repressed emotion when he admits to Cordelia that he was wrong to get rid of her. Another part is when King Lear says Pray do not mock: me i am a very foolish fond old man. (ACT 4 , scene 7 , pgs. 59-60). King Lear was getting more insight from the misfortunes brought to by Goneril and Regan .
The tragic flaw that a tragic hero has is shown in King Lear by all the misfortunes that happen all caused from cause and effect . These misfortunes happened for a reason . They were the outcome of the tragic hero’s actions and behaviors. When King Lear started to commit bad actions his life went from good to bad fortunes. One of the bad fortunes that King Lear had is that Cordelia could not put her love for him in words. By King Lear having the title of a king that definitely game him a feeling of superiority but he starts to lose this sense and goes mad when he gets kicked out from both Regan and Goneril’s castle. King Lear tries to fulfill his love and belonging needs only from his 2 mean daughters , Goneril and Regan but they both deny him.
This quote shows that King Lear really felt that when he states: Let copulation thrive; for Gloucester’s bastard son was kinder to his father than my daughter’s (ACT 4, scene 6, pgs. 113-114) . Another example of why King Lear is an example of a tragic character is when he states: I fear i am not in my perfect mind. (ACT 4, scene 7, pg.63) This clearly shows King Lear is losing his patience for Cordelia because he did not expect her to say nothing. King Lear gives Cordelia a second opportunity to repeat herself before he starts to punish her for being ungrateful and cruel . The Tragic hero fall is brought upon himself through his wrong judgement and wickedness. King Lear’s biggest flaw is his blinded judgement , also his lack of confidence did not allow him to achieve a good level of self esteem . These quotes and examples all help show why there is in fact a tragic hero in this play .