Relationship Between Cordelia and King Lear, and Edgar and Gloucester

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  • Topic: King Lear, Edmund, Royal Shakespeare Company
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  • Published : March 10, 2012
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King Lear Mini – Essay

The relationship between Cordelia and Lear, and the relationship between Edgar and Gloucester have many similarities which we can see through out the play. In both relationships, both fathers feel betrayed although this is untrue as they have only received support from their “disloyal” children. Another similarity is the fact that both fathers betray their actual loyal children, but both Cordelia and Edgar stay devoted and loyal to their parents, even if it is not visible at first.

When Cordelia mentioned that she can not profess her love in words, Lear disowns and renounces his daughter as he does not receive the same public acclamation and flattery that he received from Regan and Goneril. Cordelia: “Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave/ My heart into my mouth. I love your majesty/ According to my bond, no more nor less/…You have begot me, bred me, loved me./ I return those duties back as are right fit-/ Obey you, love you, and most honor you. (Act I, Scene I, Lines 82-90)” However Cordelia is the only daughter that does not betray her father, unlike Goneril and Regan, she fights for Lear and his Kingdom instead against it. Rather than despising and loathing Lear for banishing her, Cordelia remains devoted to her Father and shows true self-sacrificing love and undying loyalty. Lear: “I know you do not love me, for your sisters/ Have, as I do remember, done me wrong./ You have some cause, they have not” (Act IV, Scene 7, Lines 72-74) Cordelia: “No cause, no cause.” (Act IV, Scene 7, Line 75)

Edgar and Gloucester’s Relationship deteriorates more or less the same as that of Cordelia and Lears in the beginning of the play. Gloucester feels betrayed by Edgar, although it was his bastard son, Edmund, who is the one planning to kill him and therefore frames Edgar. However Edgar remains loyal to his father by pretending to be a beggar and staying at Gloucester’s side without him noticing it. Edgar: “Here, father, take the shadow...
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