The Role of Cordelia in King Lear Essay
Cordelia is a catalyst …show more content…
“The jewels of our father, with wash’d eyes
Cordelia leaves you: I know you what you are.
...Use well our father.”
She also represents forgiveness in the play. In Act IV, celestial language is used to capture the lyrical and spiritual nature of her forgiveness.
“There she shook...
The Holy water from her heavenly eyes...”
Absolute love includes absolute forgiveness. When she says she “has no cause” to hate Lear, she is right.
Cordelia is not proud or obstinate – she is, like the Fool, a hostage to truth. In everything she says she reinforces this. She points out that she is glad not to have a tongue like her sisters, implying that in her, speech is of a different kind.
If Cordelia’s purpose was to enlighten Lear and expose the corruption of the court, her task is accomplished by the end of the play. The only outlet then is through her death. Her death adds to the tragedy of the play. Though Cordelia dies, her cause and truth do not. In carrying her corpse, Lear emits an animal cry of anguish