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King Lear Essay

1346 words - 5 pages

The division of Britain by King Lear was the underlying cause of the undoing and eventual death of King Lear and almost everyone around him. Amidst the chaos created by the division of the kingdom, various characters came to different conclusions about themselves and the situation that had occurred. King Lear and the Earl of Gloucester are two characters who find themselves in similar situations, where they do not love the one who loves them back. However, the results of their actions end differently for both.King Lear sees that he is the underlying cause for the mess that has occurred in his kingdom and also recognizes that Cordelia loved him, while Regan and Goneril did not. In the end, he dies in order to pay for his actions that have done so much wrong.King Lear's decision to divide the kingdom was supposed to be an easy one. His plan on finding which daughter loves him backfires on King Lear, because of his ignorance. His expulsion of Cordelia from the kingdom places his throne in the hands of his two daughters, who do not love him. He, in essence, never did love Cordelia; else he would have recognized her silence as her love for him. He places his love and trust in the wrong individuals, and because of that, everything around him begins to fall apart.Lear's two daughters, Regan and Goneril, were blatant liars about their love for Lear from the start. Both of them were married, and yet the love they professed for their father was too extreme for a fatherly love, and was rather an incestuous love. Goneril cries out, "Sir, I love you more than the word can wield the matter; dearer than eyesight, space and liberty; beyond what can be valued, rich or rare... Beyond all manner of so much I love you" (Shakespeare 5). The love she describes is an intimate love that is said between lovers, not between father and child. With the fact that she is married, one can see that she is merely saying this to impress upon her father. Regan also does the same as well. It is quite obvious that they are both lying, but King Lear is blinded by the fact that they said they love him to actually think about what they actually said. His pride is built up by their flattery and as such he wants the same from Cordelia, however he does not get it. He gets a true love from her; a love that is proven by actions and not by words. He cannot see past his pride that she loves him. One can almost say that he must not actually love her at this point, because he cannot see such love.Cordelia's love for him is unfaltering and unconditional. Not only does she forgive Lear for his actions, but she also gets France to invade England to try to restore the throne back to Lear. She laments to the King of France (her husband) with cries and tears to get him to invade her homeland: "Therefore great France, my mourning and importuned tears hath pitied" (Shakespeare 107). Lear finally recognizes that she loves him and when she dies, he dies too. He dies because this is his way of taking...

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