The Patient, King Lear Essay

1846 words - 8 pages

The purpose of this evaluation is to make a clinical observation and diagnosis of the patient, King Lear. The patient before the traumatic events is showing symptoms of predisposed insanity. In the beginning of the play the irrational actions of dividing the kingdom, rejecting Cordelia his youngest, most loved daughter, and the banishment of his dedicated vassal Kent. “Here I disclaim all my paternal care/Propinquity and property of blood/And as a stranger to my heart and me.” (Act I, Scene I 114-116). These hasty actions lead me to believe that the patient as an ill-balanced mind and there is a presence of a disease. Kent only tells King Lear he is insane to reward the flattery of his ...view middle of the document...

If she must teem/Create her child of spleen, that it may live/And be thwart disnatured torment to her.” (Act I, Scene 4 267-275). The one emotional disturbance with Goneril is the creation of the patient’s manic episode. In the end of Act I Scene 5, the patient himself states “O let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven!/I would not be mad/Keep me in temper, I would not be mad.” (Act I, Scene 5 43-45). This observation shows that the patient is not well from the start of the play suffering from hypochondriac melancholy, which resulted from the clash of anger and grief. Anger situated from the interaction of the patient with his daughter, Goneril and grief from the patient’s decision of dividing the kingdom and giving up his power. This shows a terrible premonition for the well-being of the patient. The disease has affected the patient’s power of decisions making, which worsens proportionately to the increase of his mental illness. Every decision the patent makes is worse than the previous one, from the division of his kingdom, to the rejection of his favorite daughter, Cordelia, to the banishment of his dedicated vassal Kent, and leaving Goneril’s castle after the first altercation riding into a storm without any place to go. The patient in this case we can see he has a fierce denial of his loss of authority that causes him to alternate between grief and anger, this is driving him towards madness. “I’ll tell thee. Life and death, I am ashamed/That thou hast power to shake my manhood thus/That these hot tears, which break from me perforce/Should make thee worth them. Blasts and fogs upon thee/Th’untented woundings of a father’s curse/Pierce every sense about thee. Old fond eyes/Beweep this cause again, I’ll pluck ye out/And cast you with the waters that you loose/That I’ll resume the shape which thou dost think/I have cast off for ever. Thou shalt, I warrant thee.”(Act I, Scene 4 288-302). We observe flashing anger and madness when he curses Goneril, and than later, when he declares instead of staying with Goneril, he would rather keep his hundred men and leave entirely. The deterioration of the patient’s mind continues through in Act II, Scene III and IV, when Lear reaches Regan’s castle. He finds Kent in the stocks and does not believe that his daughter has treated his servant in this manner. He feels it is a sign of disrespect and betrayal. The patient watches his daughter betray him, and his inability to believe what he is seeing begins to push him towards the edge of insanity. “You see me here, you gods, a poor old man/As full of grief as age, wretched in both/If it be you that stirs theses daughters’ hearts/Against their father, fool me not so much/To bear it tamely:touch me with noble anger/And let no women’s weapons, water-drops/Stain my man’s cheeks. No, you unnatural hags/I will have such revenges on you both/That all the world shall- I will do such things/What they are yet I know not, but they...

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