King Lear Character Analysis Essay

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The character of Lear in Shakespeare’s play of King Lear goes through much trials and changes. In the beginning he easily angered, and rashly disowns Cordelia when she fail to speak exactly as he wishes or expects. The two daughters who spoke to please Lear received the kingdom while Cordelia who spoke from her heart, not according to the rubrics, receives nothing. Lear equates love with making him feel good or happy. When other two daughters disown Lear in turn, he rages at the storm and slowly loses touch with the world around him and all the expectations. He only awakens from his state of insanity and numbness when is reunited and makes peace with Cordelia. Even when captured, Lear joyfully looks forwards to spending time with Cordelia, …show more content…
When Lear challenges his daughters to claim the land with speeches of love, Cordelia’s fist answer is “nothing”. She readily admits “I cannot heave my heart into my mouth”(act I, scene I, line 92-93). Feeling betrayed, Lear’s anger quickly mounts, causing him to rashly reject his youngest daughter. He wants her to love him yet it seems that he does not know her as he should. Had he truly loved her in return, he would know that she is a girl of actions and not words. The anger he posses comes from self-centeredness and uncontrolled emotion. Anger is a natural reaction to pain or hurt, yet this pain comes from unfair and untrue expectations of love. When he expects love from people he expects them makes him feel good and do as he wishes or expects. Loyalty is praising what he does without questioning, but true loyalty or love is wanting better for that person. Loyal Kent tries to bring Lear to wiser actions, only to be exiled. Lear is completely absorb in what he feels and his misfortunes, even after he is thrown out of the house is he blind to his wrong actions, complaining “I am a man more sinned against than sinning”(Act III, scene II, lines 58-59). At this point he is apathetic to all but himself, cloaking all his disappointments in anger and foolish

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