Read this short quotation from Elyot's first chapter of Governor, written before King Lear.
Take away order from all things, what should remain? Certes* nothing finally, except some man would imagine eftsoons chaos. Also where there is any lack of order needs must be perpetual conflict.
*certes = certainly
Notice the word "nothing" is used. Why?
Now read this speech delivered by Troilus to Ulysses (Odysseus) during the Trojan War, in Shakespeare’s play Troilus and Cressida. It expresses volumes about the importance of order in the Elizabethan World. You will be writing an essay in which you will relate this to what you have read so far in King Lear. (You may need to do more reading.) J
The heavens themselves, the planets, and this centre,
Observe degree, priority, and place,
Insisture, course, proportion, season, form,
Office, and custom, in all line of order:
And therefore is the glorious planet, Sol,
In noble eminence, enthron'd and spher'd
Amidst the other, whose med'cinable eye
Corrects the ill aspects of planets evil,
And posts, like the commandment of a king,
Sans* check, to good and bad. But, when the planets,
In evil mixture to disorder wander,
What plagues and what portents? what mutinies?
What raging of the sea? shaking of earth?
Commotion in the winds? frights, changes, horrors,
Divert and crack, rend and deracinate**
The unity and married calm of states
Quite from their fixture! O, when degree is shaken,
(Which is the ladder to all high designs)
The enterprise is sick! How could communities,
Degrees in schools, and brotherhoods in cities,
Peaceful commerce from dividable shores,
The primogenitive*** and due of birth,
Prerogative of age, crowns, sceptres, laurels,
(But by degree) stand in authentic place?
Take but degree away, untune that string,
And hark what discord follows! each thing meets
In mere oppugnancy. The bounded waters
Would lift their bosoms higher than the shores,
And make a sop of all this solid globe:
Strength would be lord of imbecility,
And the rude son would strike his father dead.
This chaos, when degree is suffocate,
Follows the choking . . .
*sans = without (it's French)
**deracinate = uproot
**deracinate = uproot
***primogenitve = primogeniture as an adjective