“Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave my heart into my mouth. I love your Majesty according to my bond,no more nor less…”…
Cordelia is banished.She is disclaimed of all paternal care and is now held as a stranger in her fathers’ heart. Kent is also banished for having disagreed with the Kings’ decision concerning his daughter.What did Cordelia do to anger her father so immensely?What could she have possibly have done to turn off,in an instant, her fathers’ toggle switch of love for her?And what of poor Kent?At one time he was considered to be a valued friend and good adviser, but because of this difference of opinion, he is instantly cast away.Throughout this play, there are many tragedies which are webbed together indirectly, yet barely touch, such as, the triangle’s of Gloucester and his two sons (Edmund and Edgar),in which Gloucester indirectly turns Edmund against Edgar and himself and is clueless up until the end of Edmunds’ hatred and resentment towards Gloucester and Edgar.There’s the triangle of Goneril, Regan and Edmund in which the twosister’s fight the battle of love over Edmund and lose it withtheir lives.There is also the triangle of Regan, Goneril, and Cordelia, in which the two sisters hated Cordelia and did not wish her well.
Then there is the triangle of the Goneril, Regan, and the King, in which the two daughters cared for nothing more than getting there land and being rid of LearOur story begins with the Earl of Gloucester publiclyintroducing his bastard son Edmund to Kent.Yet for all ofEdmunds’ life, Gloucester has always kept Edmund in thedark.He was always ashamed of his bastard son, andup until now, never really acknowledged him.
Edgar, on the other hand, was proudly Gloucesters’ legitimate son who all his life has received such benefits, but all the while, Edmund is keeping score.The King then enters and sends for the Lords of Burgundy and France to see which one of the two will marry his prized “possession”, Cordelia.In the meantime, the King claiming to want to prevent any future strife amongst his daughters upon the event of his death, intends to divide the Kingdom amongst his daughters.But before he does so, he requests professions of love from his daughters.
Goneril and Regan are really resentful towards their father for all the years that Cordelia has been the favorite and comply falsely with the utmost respect and love. Cordelia, on the other hand could not bring herself to kiss up or jump through a circus hoop for her father and so she is banished.She is cast off with nolandand marries the Lord of France who takes her with open arms.Ironically, she was the one who truly loved her father.
“Pray you let us hit together…”.After the division of the Kingdom, and being that there was no longer a need for professions of love, Goneril and Regan begin to plot against the nuisance they call a father.In the meantime, Edmund is also plotting, against his brother Edgar.
Edmund is now obsessed with jealously and is determined to be rid of Edgar. “Well then. legitimate Edgar, I must have your land.
” Edmund fools his fatherinto believing that Edgars’ intentions for Gloucester were ill by forging a letter claiming it was Edgars.Gloucester immediately, without even the presence of Edgar to defend himself, believes this letter and condemns Edgar.Edgar then flees for safely and Edmund now stands to inherit what would have been his brothers.Showing their true colors, Regan and Goneril deny requests made by Lear and the King leaves furiously with Kent and his fool.
Lear has gotten a bit of a taste of his own medicine and nowregrets his actions against Cordelia.Lear goes mad.Filial ingratitude is what hurts him most.Lear: “I gave you all.” Regan: “And in good time you gave it.
“Edmund then betrays Gloucester and Gloucester is tortured by the hands of Cornwall, but dies happily later after being reunited with Edgar.Defending Gloucester, a servant killed Cornwall.The news of Cornwalls’ death worries Goneril for she feels now that her sister is widowed, Edmund (who she has been having an affair with) will now marry Regan.
The two sisters are in love with Edmund.Goneril, fearing that her sister will have him, poisons Regan, and then takes her own life.Cordelia and Lear are reunited.He begs Cordelia for forgiveness and she forgives him.
“You must bare with me.Pray you now, forget and forgive.I am old and foolish.
“Lear is happy again, but they are soon captured, and yet, Lear does not seem to care as long as he and Cordelia are together.Meanwhile, Edgar seeking revenge kills Edmund. But before Edmund dies, almost as if he has had a change of heart, (most likely because of the guilt he feels over the deaths of Regan and Goneril)in his last moments he wishes to reverse his orders and save Cordelia and Lear from being executed.Edgar then rushes to save them but he is too late. Cordelia is dead.She was hanged.
Lear, with her in his arms, lays her down.Realizing she is actually dead, he dies also of a broken heart.I believe that such tragedies may be prevented if one would only stop and learn from Cordelia and Kent.Kent, being of no blood relation, was still loyal to Lear even after he was banished from the Kingdom.Cordelia too had reason to be hateful.She too could have turned her back on her father. but instead she choose to be loyal to family.
She returned to save her father and she forgave him for his judgment how ever harsh. Instead, Goneril and Regan let jealously be the driving force behind their existence.Because they were jealous of their fathers favoritism towards Cordelia, they resented him, therefore, exiling him and Cordelia from their hearts.Lear on the other hand, was just too quick too judge Cordelia just because she didn’t want to play his game. His ego came between him and the ones who truly loved him most and in the end cost him dearly.Then there’s Gloucester, Edmund, and Edgar.
I truly have to say the only innocent one here is Edgar.He never mistreated Edmund in any way. But again like Goneril and Regan, jealousy played a big role in Edmunds’ actions against his brother. Gloucesters’ shame of Edmund only fed the determination to seek revenge.If King Lear were alive today along with allof the other characters, family counselors and psychiatrists would truly have their work cut out for them.They would truly be talk show material…….O.J who??