King Lear and the book of Ecclesiastes

This research will begin with the statement that the play by Shakespeare entitled The Tragedy of King Lear is believed to borrow from Christian values and ethics leading to the question of whether Shakespeare was influenced by Christianity. In actual sense, scholars believe that by the time the play was written Christianity had not reached Europe as such it could not influence the play whatsoever. However, the analysis of the play with the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible indicates that massive similarities exist which illustrates the connection between Christianity and the play. However, from the intended audience, it is evident that there was the influence of the religion on the play because the audience is assumed to be an Elizabethan audience. According to analysis such as Carolyn French, the play depends on this orientation rather than the Shakespeare tragedies in order to fully understand the plot and setting of the play. The argument of French is different from Margret Webster who argues that the play does not have Christian rational. However, a critical evaluation of the play by Webster illustrates that the play does not have any rational. French counter the claim by stating that the play can be classified or referred to as a Christian Justice play. Consequently, the play is about Christian patience, folly which French refer to as Christian wisdom. The folly and Christian wisdom illustrated by French are also defined in the book of Ecclesiastes in the bible.

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