King Lear

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade January 2002

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Paul D. Abreu Jr. November 17, 1998 English 213 C Does King Lear achieve a kind of redemption in the end when he is reunited with Cordelia? King Lear does achieve a kind of redemption when he is reunited with Cordelia in Acts IV and V of the tragedy. What kind of redemption he achieves is open to interpretation. In order to understand the King's redemption, it must be determined what the King is redeemed from. Once this sin is established, an analysis can be made as to when the King is redeemed, and how. I propose that King Lear's folly, for which he is later redeemed occurs in Act I scene 1. As an opening scene should, this scene sets up all the characters of the play. In this scene, Lear intends to divide his kingdom among his daughters based on their flattery in professing their love for him.

This superficial nature is a flaw in the King's character. King Lear's oldest two daughters, Goneril and Regan, flatter the King to his liking, easily deceiving him. Cordelia, the young daughter prefers to "Love, and be silent."(892). The King is enraged at Cordelia's silence, even though in truth she loves the king more than her sisters. King Lear disowns Cordelia: Let it be so! Thy truth, then be thy dower! For, by the sacred radiance of the sun, The mysteries of Hecate, and the night; . . . Here I disclaim all my paternal care, Propinquity and property of blood And as a stranger to my heart and me Hold thee, from this, for ever. The barbarous Scythian, Or he that makes his generation messes To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom Be as well neighbored, pitied, and relieved, As thou my sometime...