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King Lear Is A Play About Conflict Between Parents And Children. Discuss This Theme And One Other Of Your Choice.

784 words - 3 pages

Conflict is a major theme in Shakespeare's play King Lear. The conflict between parents and children is what makes up most of this theme. Lear is often having arguments with his three daughters, Regan, Goneril and Cordelia. The theme of "loyalty" is also one that stands out and has a large affect on the play.The tragedy begins with one of the most prominent arguments of the play. In the opening scene Lear decides that he will split his kingdom into thirds for each of his daughters. He then has to decide whether that decision is the right thing to do. So he asks each of his daughters to tell him how much they love him. Goneril and Regan lie to him whilst trying to outdo one another, in order to win his approval. Each daughter receives a third of the kingdom. Cordelia refuses to lie and she tells him that she loves him as much as a daughter should love a father, no more, no less. I i 90-94: "unhappy that I am, I cannot heave my heart into my mouth. I love your Majesty according to my bond, no more nor less."When Lear hears Cordelia's answer he is outraged and can't control his temper. He always had loved Cordelia the most and on hearing this he couldn't help but feel anger, as he realizes that his plans of her looking after him in his old age have been shattered. Lear continues to launch into great disputes with Cordelia to try and teach her a lesson. Lear believes that what Cordelia said was wrong and when Kent tries to stand up for Cordelia he is also attacked by Lear's anger. The whole argument results in Lear stripping Cordelia of her dowry and then banishing her and Kent. This argumentative scene has a major level of importance to the play. It is this dispute around which the whole play revolves.When Regan and Goneril learn that Cordelia is no longer in the picture they both try to win the right to rule the kingdom. To do this they compete with each other and both try to depose Lear. This selfish competition is another act of conflict whereby the two daughters are trying to take over Lear's life by totally controlling him. Regan and Goneril do this by telling Lear that he has to...

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