"The Importance Of Language" Essay

1604 words - 6 pages

Manos Mathew English 220 Prof. Scai In William Shakespeare's play King Lear, Shakespeare creates a play that embodies a lot of themes that are present today. Lying, treachery, ideas of love and justice, are some of the major themes that are present in this play. With these themes, Shakespeare gives King Lear a sense of timelessness and universality. The themes that Shakespeare uses, allows a reader from anywhere in this world to understand and relate to. In order to create the effect of universality, Shakespeare through his characters uses an important theme. The theme that he uses involves the use of language. Language in this play is important, because many of the characters use language to their advantage while their are others who use it plainly. Then there is a particular character in this play that uses language in such an indirect and comical way, he brings about understanding.This play begins with the Lear asking his daughters for them to profess their love for him in front of public, so that they can inherit a portion of his kingdom. Lear had already determined who had got what portion of his kingdom, and his request to his children was for his own enjoyment. At this point both Goneril and Regan, use language to their advantage. They both attempt to profess that their love for Lear is beyond anything in the world, when in fact these two sisters are lying through their teeth. Goneril and Regan both felt that if they say what Lear wants to hear, then their father would give them the portion of the kingdom that is due to them. At this point the reader can clearly see, how language is used for the purposes of deception. These two daughters are hiding behind their words, and they are not showing their true heart. If one were to analyze how Goneril and Regan used language to deceive their father, they can see that these two daughters were easy in their speech. They didn't hesitate when lying to Lear; the words of deception just flowed out as if they had known how to lie all their life. In other words those that lie are easy in their speech, while those that didn't lie couldn't express themselves. The latter part of this statement is seen through Cordelia's actions that follow.When it was time for Cordelia to express her love to her father, she couldn't say anything at all. She was both unable to lie like her sisters and unable to fully express her true emotions to her father. Cordelia was left speechless, and she expresses why she has a lack of speech when she says, "What shall Cordelia do? Love, and be silent." (I, iii, 3). Cordelia would rather love and be silent rather than praise her father like her sisters had done. When she was asked by Lear to show her love for him, Cordelia simply stated that she loved Lear as much as a child should love a father. Her inability to express her true feelings for Lear in public not only caused Lear to banish Cordelia...

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