King Lear2 Essay

This essay has a total of 967 words and 5 pages.

King Lear2

King Lear

The misjudgment of their offspring leaves King Lear and Gloucester favoring the wrong
children. Because they favored the evil, disloyal children, King Lear and Gloucester both
undergo great personal suffering caused by Regan, Goneril, and Edmund. Cordelia and Edgar,
the children whom they reject as worthless and disloyal, are really the representatives of
all that is good and loyal in the world.

At a public ceremony before dividing his kingdom among his three daughters, King Lear asks
his children to tell him how much they love him. Lear?s ungrateful, oldest daughters,
Regan and Goneril, embellish their answers of love for their father leaving him to believe
that their love for him is so great that it leaves no room for them to love their
husbands. As the eldest-born, speaking first, Goneril says:

Sir, I love you more than words can wield the matter;
Dearer than eye-sight, space, and liberty;
Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare;
No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, honour;
As much as child e'er loved, or father found;
A love that makes breath poor, and speech unable;
Beyond all manner of so much I love you. (I.i.60-67)

Having been satisfied by his daughter?s remark, Lear then has his second oldest daughter
prove her love. In doing so, Regan elaborates on the answer Goneril gave by saying that
she loves Lear more that Goneril. Lear is pleased by their ?devotion?. While Lear?s
youngest daughter Cordelia tells her father that she loves him as her father and the
leader of the country, but she honestly says that she will love her husband as well.
Cordelia states:

Good my lord,
You have begot me, bred me, loved me: I
Return those duties back as are right fit,
Obey you, love you, and most honour you.
Why have my sisters? husbands, if they say
They love you all? Haply, when I shall wed,
That lord whose hand must take my plight shall carry
Half my love with him, half my care and duty:
Sure, I shall never marry like my sisters,
To love my father all. (I.i.105-114)

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