King Lear vs. the Stone Angel
It has been said that, "Rivers and mountains may change; human nature, never."(worldofquotes.com) This is a quote that can be deconstructed when examining William Shakespeare's King Lear and Margaret Laurence's The Stone Angel. When reviewing the two books the main characters, King Lear and Hagar, are easily comparable. The first similarity becomes apparent when King Lear and Hagar are both developed as flawed characters. Secondly, because of their flaws the two characters become blind to reality. Thirdly, after being deceived by themselves and others as a result of their blindness, both characters seek refuge outside of their own homes. By leaving their homes the characters are able to gain perspective on themselves and their pasts.
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The third similarity is the culminating point in their journey to self discovery. Both Lear and Hagar are removed from their homes and placed in an alternate environment where they are able to gain perspective on their lives. After banishing one daughter and being outcast by the other two, King Lear is officially banished from his former kingdom. Lear had been blind to the fact that his daughters were plotting against him but now as the castle doors close to shut him out he is unable to make sense of his situation. Taking with him only a servant and his friend the fool, Lear endures terrible weather until a storm begins to gather and he finds himself on the heath. It is here that Lear is able to gather his thoughts and recognize his faults. Lear says, "Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are,/ That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,/ How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,/ Your looped and windowed raggedness, defend you/ From seasons such as these? O, I have ta'en/ Too little care of this!"(III.iv.28-33) Lear has learned to understand what the wretches were going through while he was living comfortably in his kingdom. He is able to acknowledge that he has been selfish and superficial in the past. Likewise, in The Stone Angel Hagar also left home to seek refuge in the outdoors. After running away from Marvin and Doris, Hagar finds herself at Shadow Point. During her stay Hagar is exposed to the elements of nature and is eventually