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Fairy Tales and Honesty in Shakespeare’s King Lear

Fairy Tales and Honesty in King Lear

Shakespeare’s King Lear, though it was written four centuries ago and is set in the far-distant mythological past, still carries a moralistic message with it today. Like traditional fairy tales, the authors of which Shakespeare owed a great deal to in creating the plot of this play, the entire play is set up to illustrate a single flaw in the human condition and teach a lesson about it. This lesson is the importance of honesty. Shakespeare hints at this throughout the play, but the lesson is finally stated explicitly in the last speech of the play, given by Edgar: “Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say” (5.3.393). This kind of explicitly moralistic ending is uncommon in Shakespeare’s work, as we see by looking at the endings of some of his other plays. So why, then, in King Lear?

The relationships between characters that we observe in the play are informed in large part by the events of the play’s first two scenes. In the first scene, Cordelia is banished after she is not willing to flatter Lear as her sisters were, an…

Susan Glaspell’s A Jury of Her Peers

A Jury of Peers

In A Jury of Peers by Susan Glaspell, the story revolves around the sudden death of John Wright. There are five characters that participate in the investigation of this tragedy. Their job is to find a clue to the motive that will link Mrs. Wright, the primary suspect, to the murder. Ironically, the ladies, whose duties did not include solving the mystery, were the ones who found the clue to the motive. Even more ironic, Mrs. Hale, whose presence is solely in favor of keeping the sheriff s wife company, could be contributed the most to her secret discovery. In this short story, Mrs. Hale s character plays a significant role to Mrs. Wright s nemesis in that she has slight feelings of accountability and also her discovery of the clue to the motive.

The unfortunate death of John Wright was a mystery to all. A team of individuals consisting of the sheriff, county attorney, Mr. Hale, and Mrs. Peters were on a mission to find the purpose of the murderer. At this point, Mrs. Wright is the primary suspect. Mrs. Hale was asked to join the party in order to give Mrs. Peters, the sheriff s wife, some companionship. In the story, Mrs. Hale leaves cues of guilty feelings. As an example, the narrator states, Martha Hale had a moment of feeling that she could not cross that threshold. The reason being given that she had been too busy to come by but now she could come (Glaspell 2). Another instance to be noted is a conversation between her and the young attorney. During this conversation, he asked if they were friends since they were neighbors. Her answer was sympathetic, I’ve seen little enough of her late years. I ve not been it this house-it s been morethan a year. Then she goes on to explain, I liked her well enough. Farmers wives have their hands full, it never seemed a very cheerful place (Glaspell 6). At this point, Mrs. Hale s empathy toward Mrs. Wright is apparent.

The two women were left in the kitchen while the men were investigating inthe crime scene. Mrs. Hale noticed the half done work in the kitchen. She hated unfinished things. For example, her unfinished kitchen that she had to leave. Therefore, she made a connection between her unfinished business and the one at hand.

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