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Weather Disturbances

. . by spherical predominance" (King Lear, Act I, Scene 11, 121-126).

Here, despite the fact that Lear's fall does indeed seem inevitable, Edmund can be seen to be speaking in part for the playwright as he points out that it is more likely "the surfeits of our own behavior" than it is the stars or the weather which brings us to destruction. Morally, it is Lear's own actions and not the weather which brings him down, but Shakespeare clearly sees weather disturbances as appropriate accompaniments to the fall of Lear.

Later, a lengthy storm in the same act accompanies the ongoing internal disturbances which drive Lear into a deeper darkness and misery, but, again, Shakespeare, in moral terms, emphasizes that it is Lear himself and not the weather which spells his fall. Cornwall says, "Let us withdraw; 'twill be a storm." Regan counters: "This house is little. The old man and 's people/ Cannot be well bestow'd." Finally, Goneril says, "'Tis his own blame hath put himself from rest, / And must needs taste his folly" (in Lear, Act II, Scene IV, 287-291). Indeed, it is the call of Lear himself for aid from the heavens in his revenge against his daughters that apparently sets the storm to raging. He asks for patience from the heavens, and then suggests that it is the heavens which are stirring his daughters against him (King Lear, Act II, Scene IV, 271-283).

As in Othello, in King Lear we see Shakespeare using weather disturbances as a symbolic set of forces which dramatically accompany the moral disintegration of the major character.

Lear calls on the ongoing storm to punish him, the world, and his daughters, but we are meant to see such ravings as the self-delusion of the old King as he himself internally storms forward to moral destruction: "Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage, blow!/ You cataracts and hurricanes, spout/ Till you have drenched our steeples, drown'd the cocks! . . . Rumble thy bellyful! Spit, fire! S...

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Weather Disturbances. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 18:01, August 18, 2017, from
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