Parent and Child Relationship

This is an essay looking at parent and child relationship in king lear and on my first sonne. even if your not studying king lear feel free to take notes of "on my first sonne" and vice versa

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Humayra Chowdhury 10E
English : King Lear
Mr Ingman
Explore how writers present strong feelings about parent and child relationships in
`King Lear' and three poems from the English Literary Heritage anthology.
Moreover, the poem `On My First Sonne' is another autobiographical poem written by Ben Jonson,
focusing on the theme of parent and child relationship. This poem is one of few where parent and
child relationship is considered to be very strong in a positive way. The poem is 12 lines long in the
form of iambic pentameter, which could be conveying Ben Jonson's sorrow at his son's death. On my
First Sonne, consists of some enjambment such as "why" and "lie". The use of enjambment in these
phrases could be focusing on the specific word and possibly questioning about the death of the son.
Through enjambment, Ben Jonson could be requesting to the audience to reflect and think about why
his son passed way early on in life.
Parent and child relationship is strongly presented positively in the poem On My First Sonne, with lots
of religion imagery and thoughts created. The poem begins, with a religious image, "my right hand",
stressing the importance of the child as Jesus sits on the right hand of God. This phrase strongly
emphasises on religious view, and from this line we are given the impression that Ben Jonson might
be a religious person. He continues on to say, "wert lent to me and I thee pay", a revelation possibly
connoting to the audience that the father feels he is the cause of his son's death. The phrase "lent"
could be a denotation that life is a loan from God which must be repaid. Ben Jonson, clearly
understands that God gave life and God takes it away therefore he says "wert lent to me", but
perhaps the death of his son dying at a young age of only 7, has been a substantial blow to him
causing him to believe that he is explanation of his son's death. Furthermore, this could be
foreshadowing, that Ben Jonson's loss is inevitable and therefore the relationship between a parent
and child is possibly formed by an outside force; God. This could also be a symbolism of how death
can affect the parent and child relationship, as Ben clearly built a strong relationship between the
father and son but now he feels negative about himself as he believes he has committed a sin, of
showing too much love to his son and a result God has taken his child away. This is portrayed in the
second line of the poem "My sinne was too much hope of thee, lov'd boy", indicating to the audience
that loving too much is almost a sin.
In a similar way, in King Lear the aging king blames himself for the collapse of the relationship
between the father and the children. King Lear quotes, "I am a man/ More sinn'd against than
sinning", implying to the audience, that the father admits his mistake of why parent and child
relationship has gone wrong in the play. King Lear, blames himself like Ben Jonson for the sin he
committed at the beginning where he divided his kingdom to his two ungrateful daughters and
banished his two dearest people, Kent and Cordelia. Furthermore, in Act 3 from the play by the Royal
Shakespearean company, the father's rage and insanity is illustrated strongly through the sounds of
lightning and thunder at the storm scene.
The storm scene of King Lear's anger could be a parallel to the chaos the aging king believes he has
caused as he cries out "Here I stand, your slave, A poor, infirm, weak, and despised old man". The
deprived father, is obviously referring to himself, and from this phrase we can tell the after
everything King Lear has gone through, he is definitely gone insane. The language the father uses to
describe himself, "poor", "weak" and "despise" clearly portrays to the audience, the emotions and
feelings he is experiencing. King Lear, obviously feels hurt by banishing his own little darling, Cordelia
and now is raged after he has been neglected by his two crafty daughters, Goneril and Regan. The
phrase "despised old man", could be symbolising that the aging king believes his own daughters do

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Humayra Chowdhury 10E
English : King Lear
Mr Ingman
not love him anymore, even his favourite daughter. This phrase, could be a revelation to the
audience that he is labelling himself now and he willingly submits to the strength of the storm rather
than seek shelter or fight for his sanity.…read more


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