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to surround himself with French revolution-death of mar

History C.A.T. 1  
  The Death of Marat , is an idealistic portrait painted by Jacques-Louis David, depicting the assassination of one of the leaders of the French Revolution, Jean-Paul Marat. Marat was a prominent member of a group of people called the Jacobins, and founder of a controversial newspaper publication, LAmi du Peuple (the Friend of the People). Through the title of his paper, he became widely acknowledged as just that.    Marat used his the Friend of the People publication frequently to call for popular violence against politicians. Marat was a part of a group of people called the Sans Culottes. The Sans Culottes supported Marat, and Marat had an influence over them. The main target of his calls were largely a group of people called the Girondins. The Jacobins blamed the Girondins for the defeats on the battlefield and the rising prices of food.  

On the second of June the Sans-Culottes, supporters of the Jacobins, forced their way into the Convention and expelled the leading Girondins .  Many of the expelled Girondins fled Paris, in fear of facing the recently invented guillotine. Many fled to their provinces. In doing so they triggered off revolts in the provinces which supported the Girondins. By the summer of 1793, sixty out of eighty-three departments had joined the rebellion against the government .

Faced with such immense problems, on April the 6th, the Convention set up an emergency group called the Committee of Public Safety. This was quite a contradiction of terms, as on September the 17th The Law of Suspects came into effect. The Law of Suspects started a period referred to as the Reign of Terror. During this period groups of citizens in every town were required to write up lists of people suspected of opposing the government. Citizens of whatever sex, age, or condition were ruthlessly executed purely for being suspected of opposing the government; public safety was in fact at an all time low. Marat was vocal in support of the executions, and this was what ultimately led to his demise. On July 13th 1793 Charlotte Corday, a woman with Girondin sympathies gained entry to Marats apartment and murdered him.

Subsequently Jacques-Louis David was commissioned by the convention to paint a portrait of Marat. The function of Davids painting was to ensure that the momentum of the revolution kept moving forward.  If Marat was to be a symbol for maintaining the momentum of the revolution then David needed to portray him in the most appealing possible way, as friend of the People; a martyr. Obviously then, David could not portray Marat as old and ill. Davids aim was to indeed construct images of the secular saint .  By depicting Marat in such a martyr like fashion David ensured that Marats political ideologies would live on. With Davids painting displaying such sympathies towards Marat he helped the Sans Culottes strengthen support which in turn ensured Marat's and the Sans Cullotes ideals would therefore continue the momentum of the revolution moving forward. The assassination of Marat sent shockwaves through Paris. The fact that a Girondin had infiltrated Paris, and killed a leading revolutionary figure in his own home scared many leaders (in particular Robspierre) who now feared the same could easily happen to them. They needed to ensure Marats death would raise sympathies with their parties and quash any future counter-revolutionary assassinations.  

David had previously shown an aptitude for painting historical events. One of his most famous is that of The Oath the Horatii . In this painting David depicts precisely what the French Revolution came to represent. The painting depicts three brothers declaring that they would fight to their death as champions of their city against that of a rival city, for the common good of the people . The subject of The Oath of the Horatii is dedication and sacrifice .

This same theme was present in Davids portrayal of Marat.  David shows a Marat who sacrificed his life for the people of his country. In his hand Marat holds a letter. In the letter Corday pleads for assistance. This is an historical inaccuracy by David, showing the problems of representing the past,  as this ... more

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King Lear Essay

In Act 1, Scene 1 Kent says, "See better, Lear."
How does Lear see more clearly by Act V Scene 3, and what has led him to this?

King Lear of Britain, the ageing protagonist in Shakespeares tragic play undergoes radical change as a man, father and king as the plot progresses when forced to bear the repercussions of his actions. Lear is initially portrayed as being an egotistical ruler, relying on protestations of love from his daughters to apportion his kingdom. Lears tragic flaw is the division of his kingdom and his inability to see the true natures of people because of his pride while his scathing anger is also shown to override his judgement. He wrongfully disowns his youngest and most truthful daughter Cordelia, preferring his elder daughters, Regan and Goneril, because of an eagerness to be flattered, and they ironically turn out to be evil. He displays inadequacies as a father through lack of knowledge concerning the true characters of all his daughters, and as King through the sudden dividing of his land. Lear loses his sanity when he cannot cope with the insensitive treatment from his two elder daughters. His madness is a learning experience, as he realises his earlier mistakes in the play, including his mistreatment of Cordelia. When he does regain sanity, he is a much wiser and enhanced man, father and king.

Kent, one of Lears followers, is the first person to directly tell the King that he has made mistakes concerning the partition of his sovereignty. Unlike Lear who shows blindness in judgement and lack of paternal knowledge of his daughters, Kent is able to see through the superficiality of the elder daughters confessions of love. He believes that Cordelia is wronged when she receives nothing and is exiled, and condemns the King for his actions "When majesty stoops to folly. Reverse thy doom". Kent believes the King is blind of the consequences of his decisions, voicing "See better, Lear". Lear displays intense outrage at Kent, "Come not between the dragon and his wrath", and later says "The bow is bent and drawn; make from the shaft", indicating he does not want his authority to be challenged. Kent is shown to be faithful to Lear by confronting him about his sins, and like Cordelia is banished because of his honesty.

The Fool in the play serves as Lears conscience and social commentator, conveying his poignant messages to the King in cryptic riddles. He says "give me an egg, nuncle, and Ill give thee two crowns", and "thou hadst little wit in thy bald crown when thou gavest thy golden one away", commenting on Lears lack of judgement in dividing his land. Throughout the play, the Fool observes the disorder that Lear has not only caused to himself but also his entire kingdom while constant references made by him sarcastically indicate the Kings foolishness. The Fool says, "she will taste as like this as a crab does to a crab", telling Lear that Regans nature will be no different than Gonerils. The Fool is partially comparable to Cordelia, in that he is a truth-teller like her and is firmly obedient to him, although the Fool is never reproved for his words, unlike Cordelia, because he is "all-licensed". The fools role in the play is as an adviser to the King, but the King does not heed his cryptic messages, therefore seeing the outcomes of his actions.

The hostility and disrespect shown by Lears two elder daughters Goneril and Regan to the King is eventually the turning point for him, which instigates his descent into madness. Goneril, with whom Lear initially resides, complains to him about his train of one hundred "disordered and debauched" knights. This challenge of authority, which Lear is desperate to maintain, infuriates him, because the knights are the last vestiges of his power. After cursing his oldest daughter following her verbal assault against him, Lear storms out of her house, claiming, "Yet I have left a daughter", indicating his other daughter Regan will receive him lovingly. Lear is still shown to be blind to the fact that his two elder daughters are alike in personality, which he will soon discover.

Regan ... more

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