King Lear

This essay has a total of 1116 words and 7 pages.

King Lear









King Lear: topic #2, revision.

Matt Diggs III
























"Lear: Be your tears wet? Yes faith, I pray weep not.
If you have poison for me, I will drink it.
I know you do not love me; for your sisters
Have (as I do remember) done me wrong.
You have some cause, they have not.

Cordelia: No cause, no cause."

In Shakespeare's King Lear the character Cordelia is disowned and denied dowry because she
is unable to bring herself to flatter her father. This honesty is taken as insult by Lear
in the opening act of the play, and he renounces the princess in a fit of rage. Yet when
his other, more "glib and oily (I.i. 224)" daughters have ruined him, it is faithful
Cordelia who comforts him. While she has the greatest reason to act against Lear, she
claims she has "No cause,(IV,iv,74)" to do so. What is it within Cordelia's soul that
manifests good in the face of evil? What qualities make her the play's most virtuous
character? Because she is not actually present during the majority of the play, it is
difficult to obtain an accurate psychological picture of Cordelia. BUT HER WORDS AND
ACTIONS, HOWEVER SPARSE, DEFINE CORDELIA AS HONEST, SELFLESS AND COURAGEOUS. It is these
qualities that display Cordelia's clear comprehension of the duties implicit in the
father-daughter and king-subject bond.




Part of Cordelia's moral integrity lies in her bluntness, and while Lear's daughter does
seem tactless in her first appearance, saying,

"Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
My heart into my mouth. I love your Majesty
According to my bond, no more nor less, (I.i.91-93)"
Continues for 4 more pages >>