Both Robert Frost and William Shakespeare use the storm as a dramatic method in their works. The storm in “King Lear” creates a dramatic background while we are presented with a storm (probably an even stronger one) of human emotions. In “Storm Fear,” the heroes are subdued by the storm and its strength:
“Those of us not asleep subdued to mark
How the cold creeps…”
In his poem, Robert Frost creates a gloomy picture of a blizzard as a furious beast that dares the members of the family living in an isolated house to come outside and be killed.
It is obvious that the family can do very little to fight the storm, they can only lie in their beds hoping that it all will go away in the morning. While the powers of nature simply terrify the heroes of “Storm Fear”, the king in “King Lear” seem to struggle against the storm. Lear does not have a shelter, while the family is in their house. However, there is no guarantee that the house will protect them from the storm. A realization comes to King Lear that a human life is not much more valuable than the life of an animal and he cries:
“Is man no more than this? — unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, forked animal as thou art.”
The storm seems to represent the divine or natural punishment to those who did wrong. Lear did sin himself. However, he has received his penalty from his daughters already so he cries: “I am a man more sinned against than sinning.” We don’t know if the heroes of the poem have sinned as well; however, it is clear that the wind (or fate) can take lives away, even those of little children, without mercy.
In both poetic works, storm symbolizes death or fate. Human beings seem helpless and insignificant when faced with the natural forces. Lear shows that he wants to fight the physical powers: “Pour on, I will endure,” he says, but it is very little he can do to fight the nature.
In both works it becomes apparent, that storm and natural forces can be cruel and merciless. At the same time, thunder and lightning do not seem as bad for the king compared to the cruelty of his daughters. Apparently, people can be even crueler.
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