King Lear

King Lear is a play written by William Shakespeare that
focuses on the relationships of many characters, some good, some evil.

This is a great tragedy that is full of injustice at the beginning
and the restoring of justice towards the end. The good are misjudged
as evil and the evil are accepted as good. It is not until the end of
the play that the righteous people are recognized as such. There is
great treachery and deceit involved in the hierarchy of English rule.

The great mistake in this play was made by Lear when he decided to
divide up his kingdom to his three daughters. In order to determine
which share each should get, he had each of his daughters give
testimonies of love for him. Cordelia, the youngest, refused to go
overboard with her statement. When asked for her testimony, she
simply replied, "Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave my heart into my
mouth. I love your Majesty according to my bond, no more no
less."(I,i, ln 91-93) Lear becomes enraged and casts her off saying,

"Here I disclaim all my paternal care, propinquity and property of
blood, and as a stranger to my heart and me hold this from thee for
ever."(I,i, ln 113-116). Some think that Cordelia was prideful, or
even a fool in her response, but I believe she was simply being honest
and true.

Another mistake that was made in the course of the play was by
the Earl of Gloucester. After being tricked by his bastard son,

Edmund, into believing that his other son, Edgar, was plotting to kill
him, he put all his faith in Edmund, which would eventually lead to
his demise. Besides believing that Cordelia was being true and honest
to her father, I think that Lear and the Earl of Gloucester were
fools, regarding the banishments of their righteous children.

After reading this play, I found it hard to believe that

Cordelia was being anything but true in her simple proclamation of
love for her father. I can\'t believe that Shakespeare was trying to
portray her as a spoiled, prideful child. I do not believe she was
foolish in her decision to restrain from trying to persuade him into
giving her a larger portion of his kingdom. I think it was apparent
early that Cordelia was struggling with what she was going to say to
her father. In her asides she says, "What shall Cordelia speak? Love,
and be silent"(I,i, ln 62), and after Regan spoke, "Then poor

Cordelia; And yet not so, since I am sure my love\'s more ponderous
than my tongue."(I,i, ln 76-78). It is obvious that she loves her
father, but she can\'t express it the way in which Lear wants her to.

Because of this, she is disowned and sent away to France. The King
even refers to her as, "Unfriended, new adopted to our hate, dow\'red
with our curse, and strangered with our oath."(I,i, ln 203-204).

Cordelia\'s love for her father was shown further when she received the
letters concerning Lear\'s mental state after being mistreated by his
two other daughters. It was said that, "now and then an ample tear
trilled down her delicate cheek."(IV,iii, ln 12-13). Cordelia then
orders for some of the French soldiers to bring Lear to her so that
she can look after him before the war between Britain and the French
soldiers begins. Her love was further displayed when she says, "But
love, dear love, and our aged father\'s right. Soon may I hear and see
him!"(IV,iv, ln 28-29). Because of all of this, I firmly believe that

Cordelia truly loved her father and was only being honest when she
refused to profess her love for him in order to rule a portion of


Besides believing that Cordelia was true in her response, I
also think that Lear was acting as a fool when he disowned his only
loving daughter. He made a monumental mistake when he handed over

British rule to his two evil daughters, Regan and Goneril. This is
what eventually led to his mental breakdown and the deaths of many of
the heads of Britain. If he had only chose to keep control over his
kingdom or to give up control to someone trustworthy, no one would
have had to suffer as they did. Some people knew he was committing a
terrible folly, especially the Earl of Kent. This is apparent when he
says, "Think\'st thou that duty shall have dread to speak when power to
flattery bows? To plainness honor\'s bound when majesty falls