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Major Similarities of Hamlet and King Lear

There are a lot of similarities between the two Shakespeare plays HAMLET and KING LEAR. I guess it because of the style in which Shakespeare wrote. William Shakespeare wrote three kinds of stories: comedy, tragedy and history. Both of these books are tragedies and they are very similar tragedies. In both of these stories, there is a feud going on within the family. And in both the feud is between the children and their parents or relatives. Hamlet is looking for revenge on his uncle for killing Hamlet’s father and he’s upset with his mother marrying the murderer. Here Lear’s evil daughters try to completely destroy their father.

Lear calls his daughters and asks them who loves the most. Regan and Goneril lie just to get Lears land and power. Cordelia honestly answers Lear and for that is given away to France, because Lear has gone out of his mind. After Lear gives out almost all his land he realizes his wrongdoing and tries to restore his power. But now its too late, because his daughters already took away all the land. He sees how evil his daughters really are and they don’t love him at all, so he curses them. Now Lear appears to be crazy from his actions, but in reality, he exactly knows what is going on.

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Hamlet saw the ghost of his father and it told Hamlet that his uncle killed him to become the king. This shows that the person will even commit murder to get control of the country, just like we see in KING LEAR. After the ghost appeared to Hamlet, he started to act like he was crazy. But just like Lear, in reality, he wasn’t crazy, he was thinking of how to get back at his uncle.

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The endings of both stories are very similar. Besides the fact that all the main characters in both stories die, its how they die that’s interesting. Because Goneril wants to get Edmund, she poisons her sister Regan. Hamlets uncle wants to poison Hamlet, but by mistake, he poisoned his wife, Hamlet’s mother. Hamlet by mistake kills his uncle servant Polonius. Because of the death of her father, Ophelia (Polonius daughter) goes insane and later kills herself. Because Goneril’s plan didn’t work, she kills herself. At the end, there is a duel between Edgar and Edmund, where Edgar kills his bastard brother.

At the end of HAMLET there is a duel between Hamlet and Polonius son, where Hamlet wins but in the process gets cut by a poisonous sword; He dies. And finally during the duel Hamlet also kills his uncle getting his revenge, but losing his life. After Polonia is found dead, Lear totally goes insane and thinking that his daughter is still alive he dies. And at the very end, Kent says, My master is dead I have no reason to live and kills himself. Just like at the end of HAMLET, Hamlet’s servant and a friend also says the same and also kills himself.

In conclusion: both of these plays are tragedies, a very close connection throughout the play, and very similar endings.

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Major Similarities of Hamlet and King Lear. (2021, Mar 04). Retrieved March 24, 2023, from