King Lear

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade November 2001

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Love is something that is gained and earned. It cannot be bought or measured. William Shakespeare's King Lear is a play that shows the theme of love. Shakespeare's writing ability of using parallel worlds helps contribute to the readers on understanding the central theme. After reading the play, readers can understand how the power of love can make people do things to either help or harm a loved one by looking at the relationships of Lear and Cordelia, Gloucester and Edgar, and the love triangle consisting of Goneril, Regan, and Edmund.

Lear was the King of Britain and decided to give up his land to his three daughters, Goneril the eldest, Regan, and Cordelia the youngest. Lear's ego got to his head and made his daughters flatter him in front of a group of people in order to get their share of the land. When it got to the turn of Cordelia, she didn't want to play the game Lear started and didn't say anything.

Her love for her father couldn't be measured or put into words. "And yet not so, since I am sure my love's / More ponderous than my tongue." (Act I, scene i, line 79-80) Lear out of rage banished Cordelia and would not give her anything he owned because she did not show her love towards him. Cordelia now went away to France to live with the King of France who loved her for who she was. She knew something would happen to her father after giving away his power. It put him in a vulnerable position, so she had a spy to keep in touch to inform all things that happen only because she cared and loved her father. Even though Lear banished Cordelia, she went back to Britain with the French army...