Words More Powerful Than Actions

Topics: King Lear, Ian McKellen, Lear Pages: 2 (571 words) Published: June 6, 2010
In Act III Scene 7, Cornwall sends his people out to capture Gloucester. Cornwall believes that Gloucester is a traitor because he sent King Lear to Dover so Cornwall, Regan, and Goneril would not kill him. This scene is full of violence and rashness. Cornwall removes Gloucester’s eyes as a punishment for interfering with their plan. In this particular scene, the words of the characters become more important than what the audience sees because the diction of the words emphasizes the strong mood and feelings amongst the characters.

The strong words of the characters present a dramatic impact on the audience and its readers. Cornwall says, “Bind fast his corky arms.” Cornwall uses the words corky because Gloucester is an aging man and his skin is old and withered. His words convey animosity towards Gloucester which condones his actual actions. Regan and Goneril, the daughters of King Lear, are close with Gloucester and his two sons. Gloucester and King Lear are good friends. However, they both proceed to torture him and say nasty things. Regan says, “Hard, hard. O filthy traitor!” Her words depict hatred and disloyalty to Gloucester and her father.

This scene is rich of dramatic irony. King Lear wanted to give his land and power to the daughter that will prove that she loves him the most. Cordelia opt out leaving Regan and Goneril inheriting the land. Lear has put trust in his daughters. By receiving this land, they have shown that they love him the “most.” Yet, they are both seeking his death. Gloucester set King Lear to Dover without telling him what was happening in the background. In a play, the thick dramatic irony may not be seen clearly to the audience. Therefore, the powerful words both within the characters and the dialogue between them are more essential to the play. Regan and Goneril were supposed to protect and support their father. Gloucester knew that something terrible was going to erupt. For that reason, he sent Lear to Dover where Cordelia was...
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