AUTHOR: Sahabuddin Sk
TITLE :NATURE AND DIVINE DISPENSATION IN WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S KING LEAR: A CRITICAL STUDY
ABSTRACT:King Lear, a typical Shakespearean tragedy, an acclaimed piece of high artistic expression, though unarguably opposing the rules and decorum laid down by the masters of Classical tragedy, frames its cornerstone upon the complex system of what the Elizabethan England considered as the Great Chain of Being, the law, harmony, and order in Nature, the bond between human behavior and natural order, uncontrollable elemental forces, elements of the natural world, the stars and their influences on the human nature, man-cosmos conflicts and so forth. It incorporates the disruption of the bond of harmony, law and order existing between the Nature and human world, the tragic consequences of violating the natural order functioning both in the human nature and human society, the cosmos, and of succumbing to the new Nature manifesting chaos, wild and unnatural human behavioral patterns. It is woven around the backgrounding of the human faculty of reason and the foregrounding of warm, wild passion. It is not only concerned with how Lear arrived at an imprudent decision on the spur of a moment during dividing his kingdom which entailed his tragic doom later, but also the harrowing events befallen to Gloucester owing to violating the natural order in the form of adultery. It attempts to project the nature of love, greed, lust, cruelty, the decay and fall of the world under the garb of the education and purification of Lear and turmoil in his kingdom, the complexities of Divine Dispensation, the double-ness of Nature in its dealings with human affairs which reflects the double-ness of human nature too.
The present paper shall analyze critically how the natural harmony, law, order collapse in the kingdom of an aged monarch, Lear, and create an unprecedented tragic consequences leading to damage of the whole fabric of the Good. It will touch upon the major tragic concerns of the play while dwelling upon the problem of Divine Dispensation. That is to say, commenting upon the nature of the Gods in dealing with the excruciating sufferings meted out to the innocent human beings, the paper shall focus on the complete network of evils which cause the breakdown of the natural functioning of the human world. It will analyze the controversial question of whether the Gods in the play King Lear are benevolent or malevolent, cruel or merciful, just or unjust, good or bad, benign or malign, destructive or constructive in their judgments as the injustices prevail in Lear’s Kingdom.
KEYWORDS:Nature, order, new Nature, reason, passion, Divine Dispensation
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