Justice Verses Mercy in maintaining a fair and supportive world Nothing more and nothing less, this is the basis of all consequence and reward in a just society. Although both justice and mercy together are needed to maintain a functioning society, the presence of justice is essential in order to maintain a fair and supportive world. Throughout the play King Lear, by William Shakespeare, many characters experience their own level of justice, both fair and excessive. Justice is essential in any society in order to maintain structure and authority.
Justice is also important to ensure the victim feels secure and satisfied after a crime is committed against them and lastly justice allows a person to take responsibility for their actions and grow as a person. Every functioning society relies on structure and authority to maintain order. Structure and authority can only be maintained in society when true justice is present. Without consequence there would be no need for any laws. In the play Gloucester believes that the gods misuse their power of authority and bring justice in whichever way they desire “As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods; /They kill us for their sport. (4. 1. 37–38). Gloucester believes the chaos in society is caused by the unfair and excessive actions of the Gods. It is only through true justice that structure and authority will be reestablished. Justice is essential for a fair and supportive world, not only fair to the offender but the victim as well. Most victims want their offender to “pay” for the crimes they committed. It is only threw justice that a victim can feel secure and satisfied after a crime is committed.
In the play Albany demands that King Lear’s’ eldest’s daughters be held responsible for their actions, and that justice be served “If that the heavens do not their visible spirits/ Send quickly down to tame these vile offenses, / It will come / Humanity must perforce prey on itself, / Like monsters of the deep. “ (4. 2. 46-49) Albany needs justice to be served in order to feel that the cruel actions of Regan and Goneril against their father came with consequences. Only through justice victims are able to feel that crimes committed had consequences and order has been restored.
Justice is critical for the victim of a crime, it also allows for offenders to learn from their actions. Learning from ones mistakes allows for personal enlightenment and growth. Justice is essential to ensure that offenders grow and learn from their mistakes. Reflection and true remorse for ones crimes can only come when justice and consequence is experienced. In the play many characters experience person growth through the consequences of their actions. Only after Gloucester is punished for his actions, and his sight is taken from him, does he understand the magnitude of his past crimes.
He realizes how arrogant he was before he lost his eyes when he says “ I have no way and therefore want no eyes; / I stumbled when I saw” (4. 1. 18-19). It is only through justice that Gloucester experiences personal growth and enlightenment. Consequence and reward for negative and positive actions is essential to teach society wrong and right. Justice ensures order will be maintained and respected. In conclusion, the presence of justice is crucial to maintain a fair and supportive world. It is only through justice that a society will respect laws in order to maintain structure and authority.
Justice also allows the victim of a crime to feel secure and satisfied when a crime is committed against them. Lastly the presence of justice allows for reflection and remorse, this leads to person growth of individuals, as well as, society when the consequences of actions are experienced. Although both mercy and justice together are needed to maintain a functioning society: it is justice that is essential to ensure its continuance, nothing more and nothing less. Work Cited Shakespeare, William. King Lear. Ed. G. K. Hunter. London; New York: Penguin Books, 1972.