Family Relationships in 'King Lear'

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Throughout King Lear the idea of family relationships is explored through the parent-child relationships seen through Lear and his daughter and Gloucester and his sons. Shakespeare explores how the decisions made by both Lear and Gloucester lead to the breakdown of their family relationships. Through misunderstandings, lies and deceit, these family experience the effects of being held apart. There is also the aspect of the way in which families are held together explored through Cordelia's love of Lear and Edger's love of his father Gloucester.
Throughout Shakespeare's King Lear, the relationship between Lear and his daughter's is centered. In the open act, a love test created by Lear is aimed at Cordelia in order to justify giving her a larger portion of his wealth and land. However, Lear expects that Cordelia will provide him with tremendous amounts of flattery and confessions of love, and when she replies with a more tempered answer Lear 's outrage is made evident.
"Good my lord, / You have begot me, bred me, loved me: I / Return those duties back as are right fit, / Obey you, love you, and most honour you. / Why have my sisters husbands, if they say / They love you all? / Haply, when I shall wed. / That lord whose hand must take my plight shall carry / Half my love with him, half my care and duty: / Sure, I shall never marry like my sister, to love my father all" (1.1.95)
With the misreading of Cordelia's devotion, Lear renounces his "parental care" (1.1.113) and withdraws his "father's heart" (1.1.127). Lear further banishes Cordelia and divides the inheritance to her sisters. It is at this point, that the break down of parental - child relationship between Lear and his daughter Cordelia is evident.
In addition to the...

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...o reconnect to Edgar and apologise, while the same can be seen through Edgar caring for Gloucester even after everything. Through this the ability family relationships have to hold families together is visible and portrayed.
The parent-child relationships explored in King Lear are parallel. It is seen that both Lear and Gloucester deal with situations in which they do not think rationally causing the children they have built relationships with and the children who have a true love for their father being disowned or betrayed. It is seen that through the false words of the children they love less is the cause of their downfall and ultimately the breakdown of the family relationships. Throughout King Lear there are many aspects which highlight the way family relationships hold each other apart but also how the love of some family relationships hold each other together.
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