Shakespeare's Double Life

People are defined by the many different facades of their personality.   Whether or not they are aware of it, people often times develop a public persona that is different then their private persona. This makes it difficult to decipher the true soul inside a person. Many great philosophers, doctors, and writers have made theories as to why people live this way; no writer as evaluated this mystery more than William Shakespeare.
In many of Shakespeare’s plays, he seamlessly uses characterization to reveal his characters split personalities. Perhaps his greatest example of this is in one of his most famous tragedies, King Lear.   In King Lear, Shakespeare shows in almost all of his characters a tendency to behave differently when faced with different people. For example, in the very beginning of the play, the characters Kent and Gloucester have a very casual conversation in free verse. When King Lear arrives, they begin speaking like nobility, in prose. This shows how people will use different masks to feel more comfortable in a situation.
Even King Lear himself is not immune to living two different lives. When King Lear is in front of his daughters or lower levels, he speaks very high and mighty, not to reveal any weakness. However, whenever King Lear is left with just his Fool, he allows himself to joke around with him. Even when the Fool pokes fun of King Lear, Lear goes along with it. It seems that when King Lear is with the Fool it is the only time he has a diversion from the many problems that surround him.
William Shakespeare as repeatedly delivered successful complex characters in all of his plays. King Lear is no exception. In King Lear, Shakespeare proposes that people may develop second personas to feel more comfortable in their setting or with their lives in general. Whether or not Shakespeare used his own life has a model, he should be commended for his amazing ability to reveal the inner workings of human beings. This is only one of many reasons...