"Each character in King Lear has control over their fate. The fate of each character is determined by the events that occur in act one of the play" - To what extent do you agree with this?
Fate has proven to be a very important theme throughout many of Shakespeare's plays. In King Lear fate plays a particularly important role, as many critics would agree that the fate of each character is determined by events that occur in act one of the play. I do agree with this statement, although I also agree to an extent that the fate of some characters was inevitable. The characters in the play view their lives as caught in a pattern they have no power to change, just as the stars in their courses are fixed in the skies.
Like in Romeo and Juliet the fate of some main characters can be seen as being dependent on their choice of actions.
Just as Romeo and Juliet's decision to elope and fake their own deaths leads to their actual deaths, Cordelia and King Lear's actions lead to negative events that occur later on in the play and, eventually, lead to their own deaths too. At the start of the play Cordelia chooses not to go along with her father's request of declaring her undying love to him, and because of this Lear chooses to banish Cordelia and swears "by all the operation of the orbs from whom we exist and cease to be" that his decision "shall not be revoked". Some critics believe that Cordelia is very much like her father and this is why Lear took it so bad when Cordelia refuses to express her love. Like in Julius Caesar where Caesar says "For I am constant as the Northern star"...