Fatherly Influence King Lear

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  • Topic: Love, King Lear, William Shakespeare
  • Pages : 5 (1728 words )
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  • Published : May 20, 2013
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Fatherly Influences
An individualis the most impressionable throughout the maturing stages of their life, which is why parents are seen as highly influential characters. It is common for a child to share similar qualities or interest as their maternal partner and even inherit their flaws. William Shakespeare’s play King Lear is a tale filled with greed, miscommunication and most importantly the mistreatment of family members. Throughout the play these key elements enhance the way Lear’s behavior influences the actions and mind set of his daughters. “Most Shakespearean criticism concentrates on the rebellious nature of “like father, like daughter relationships”; however, these relationships revealed in the play show similarities and differences between fathers and their children” (Buckley, MaryEllen). Lear portrays the qualities of a kind-hearted man but still has a tendency to jump to conclusions and allows his impulsiveness to get the best of him. Through the dysfunctional relationship between King Lear and his daughters it is evident that Lear’s actions have a toll on his daughters. This is exemplified through King Lear in which favoritism, miscommunication and unquestioning belief can damage an obsessed father’s influences on his children.

King Lear demonstrates favoritism between his three daughters, which results in greed and jealousy. No father should favor one child over another, because it causes major dysfunction within the family. “Showing preferential treatment to one child over the other siblings nurtures a kind of jealousy and even hatred in the heart of the one being neglected. And as the experts tell us, this may lead to various psychological and social problems that can last well into adolescence and adulthood”. (Asma Shameem). Regan and Goneril treat their father in a cruel manner due the lack of affection they reieved and the jealousy they harbor towards Cordelia. Through the opening scenes of the play Cordelia is acknowledged as Lear’s most beloved daughter and such favoritism creates resentment by Regan and Goneril. The resentment towards King Lear the two daughters to pretending to love their father for his fortune. Regan and Goneril succeeded in obtaining what they desired through greed and fakeness. The flattery and profession of their fake love for Lear assured the position of power and inheritances were secure with the two “evil” sisters. Lear lacks the ability to balance the affection for his kids, which is why the tension is high between them. As the play unravels it becomes evident that Goneril and Regan feel comfortable with their father resenting Cordelia. Cordelia, who had been the favorite, didn’t find it necessary to proclaim her love to her father. She did not abandon her father even following his proclamation that she was dead to him. “Through the help of Kent, disguised under the name Caius, she located her annoyed father and, at the end of the tragedy, died with him at the hands of traitors. She had been the recipient of love for her entire life, and because she had loved her father in return and was sympathetic to his senility, she had the urge to help him” (Bailey Shoemaker Richards). The love Cordelia received allowed her to express true love, and even following her cruel treatment, she continued to love her father and do everything in her power to save him from the scheming of her evil sisters. However, because Regan and Goneril had not received the same amount of attention Cordelia receives they became bitter individuals and the only way they knew how to get what they wanted was through flattery and fake love for their father. Miscommunication is another major factor causing a hole between Lear and his daughters. King Lear’s influence on his children was missing the most important thing, communication. At the beginning of the play, Lear wanted to listen to his daughter’s flattery speeches of how much they love him, for his own judgment of dividing the kingdom. Lear states...
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