Essay on William Shakespeare 's King Lear

1164 Words Dec 15th, 2015 null Page
Self-knowledge or “understanding of oneself, one 's character, abilities or, motives” is seen in Shakespeare’s King Lear (dictionary.com). Both King Lear and Gloucester place their trust in the wrong child, and it ultimately leads to their downfall. Both Cordelia who is the daughter of King Lear, and Kent who is a nobleman under Gloucester remain true to themselves and retain self-knowledge. Cordelia and Kent continuously speak the truth and fight to remain honest and loyal even though it bodes serious consequences for them and their companions.
Cordelia is a voice of reason to father King Lear, and her sisters Regan and Goniril. Her outbursts of truth lead to serious repercussions. Lear decides to pit his three daughters against each other, instead of examining each daughters’ character to determine which daughter is the most qualified to take over in his retirement. Lear asks each daughter to profess their love for him, and the daughter that loved him the most would receive the ultimate prize. When Cordelia refused to participate in this manipulative competition, she is disowned (1.1.125). Cordelia’s awareness of what it truly meant to show love for a father allowed her speak the truth to her father. She refused to fight for wealth by using empty words of love for her father. Lear was unable to see that by her refusing to play a part in this foolish game, she displayed her true love for him, not her goal to gain his possessions. After being disowned her attractiveness to…

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