Loyalty In Shakespeare's King Lear

Topics: Love, Daughter, King Lear Pages: 5 (1104 words) Published: May 3, 2017


At their core, both Gloucester and Lear are initially open to accepting truths at their surface value only. Cordelia’s deeper love, is overshadowed by Lear’s acceptance of the valueless words of adoration from Goneril and Regan. Lear accepts his daughter’s words as truth of their love and Cordelia’s silence as evidence of her lack of affection for him. Likewise, Gloucester is quick to accept Edmund’s deceit. Gloucester's arrogance of power in their relationship ultimately is his undoing, in that he believes his bastard child would not deceive him. In both cases, Gloucester and Lear display primary emotional faults with regard to their own egos and the belief that their assumed subordinates, in this case children, should flatter them with words...

Yet, Gloucester and Lear experience different emotional and psychological journeys towards accepting their follies. For, Lear a descent into madness beings with a storm and proceeds into a state of psychosis and a conflict with nature:
Rumble thy bellyful. Spit, fire. Sprout, rain! / Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire are my daughters. / I tax not you, you elements, with unkindness. / I never gave you kingdom, called you children, / You owe me no subscription. Then let fall / Your horrible pleasure. Here I stand your slave, / A poor, infirm, weak, and despised old man. / Bet yet I call you servile ministers, / That will with two pernicious daughters join / Your high-engendered battles ‘gainst a head / So old and white as this. (3.2.14-24)
Lear comes to assess nature as in collusion with his daughters to go against him. He recognizes how nature owes him “no subscription,” moreover nature itself does not have anything to have against Lear, and yet, nature does come out against him. This soliloquy highlights the totality of Lear’s paranoia and emphasizes how befallen to madness Lear has become as he deals with all that has happened to...
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