Character Relationships In King Lear

1285 words - 6 pages

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King Lear is a play written by William Shakespeare that focuses on the relationships of many characters, some good, some evil. This is a great tragedy that is full of injustice at the beginning and the restoring of justice towards the end. The good are misjudged as evil and the evil are accepted as good. It is not until the end of the play that the righteous people are recognized as such. There is great treachery and deceit involved in the hierarchy of English rule. The great mistake in this play was made by Lear when he decided to divide up his kingdom to his three daughters. In order to determine which share each should get, he had each of his daughters give testimonies of love for him. Cordelia, the youngest, refused to go overboard... View More »

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Cordelia then orders for some of the French soldiers to bring Lear to her so that she can look after him before the war between Britain and the French soldiers begins. Her love was further displayed when she says, "But love, dear love, and our aged father's right. Soon may I hear and see him!"(IV,iv, ln 28-29). Because of all of this, I firmly believe that Cordelia truly loved her father and was only being honest when she refused to profess her love for him in order to rule a portion of Britain.

Besides believing that Cordelia was true in her response, I also think that Lear was acting as a fool when he disowned his only loving daughter. He made a monumental mistake when he handed over British rule to his two evil daughters, Regan and Goneril. This is what eventually led to his mental breakdown and the deaths of many of the heads of Britain. If he had only chose to keep control over his kingdom or to give up control to someone trustworthy, no one would have had to suffer as they did. Some people knew he was committing a terrible folly, especially the Earl of Kent. This is apparent when he says, "Think'st thou that duty shall have dread to speak when power to flattery bows? To plainness honor's bound when majesty falls to folly. Reserve thy state, and in thy best consideration check this hideous rashness.(I,i, ln 147-151). Lear ignores this plea and even banishes Kent, who returns later, disguised as a servant. Another person to recognize his mistake is the fool. In one of his rhymes, he says, "That lord that counselled thee to give away thy land, come place him here by ...

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