King Lear is a play about conflict between parents and children. Discuss this theme and one other of your choice.

Essay by londonJunior High, 9th gradeA-, October 2002

download word file, 3 pages 4.7

Downloaded 66 times

Conflict is a major theme in Shakespeare's play King Lear. The conflict between parents and children is what makes up most of this theme. Lear is often having arguments with his three daughters, Regan, Goneril and Cordelia. The theme of "loyalty" is also one that stands out and has a large affect on the play.

The tragedy begins with one of the most prominent arguments of the play. In the opening scene Lear decides that he will split his kingdom into thirds for each of his daughters. He then has to decide whether that decision is the right thing to do. So he asks each of his daughters to tell him how much they love him. Goneril and Regan lie to him whilst trying to outdo one another, in order to win his approval. Each daughter receives a third of the kingdom. Cordelia refuses to lie and she tells him that she loves him as much as a daughter should love a father, no more, no less.

I i 90-94: "unhappy that I am, I cannot heave my heart into my mouth. I love your Majesty according to my bond, no more nor less."

When Lear hears Cordelia's answer he is outraged and can't control his temper. He always had loved Cordelia the most and on hearing this he couldn't help but feel anger, as he realizes that his plans of her looking after him in his old age have been shattered. Lear continues to launch into great disputes with Cordelia to try and teach her a lesson. Lear believes that what Cordelia said was wrong and when Kent tries to stand up for Cordelia he is also attacked by Lear's anger. The whole argument results in Lear stripping Cordelia of her dowry and then banishing her and Kent. This...