Shakespeare’s King Lear Philosophy

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Philosophy is defined as the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence. In Shakespeare’s King Lear one is able to relate and understand a lot of the problems the main characters in the play are facing. The characters face issues relating trust, family, greed, depression, and insanity. The issues and plot in the play are contemporary issues that any human can relate to because it is the way of life.
In the beginning of the play the reader learns that Lear is ready to give up his kingdom and retire from a conversation that two noblemen, Gloucester and Kent, are having. He asks his three daughters; Cordelia, Goneril, and Regan to express their love for him to help him make his decision as to who would inherit his kingdom. Cordelia has always been his “favorite” daughter and when asked how much she loved her father she does not lie to him and tells him “I am sure my love’s more ponderous than my tongue” (1363). Rather than being grateful for such love and honesty, Lear banishes her to France and divides his kingdom to his two other daughters. Kent does not agree with Lear’s decision and Lear banishes him too.
Goneril and Regan won over the kingdom by lying and exaggerating their love for their father because of greed. Lear travels to spend his first part of his retirement with his daughter Goneril. With him travels his fool and Kent disguised as Caius to follow Lear because he knows he is making the wrong decision. Because Gonerils love for her father is fake and insincere, she does not want him there and makes it so that he is treated terrible by her servants. Lear begins to see the greed, dishonesty, and evil in his daughter, Goneril, and leaves, outraged, to visit his other daughter Regan believing...

... middle of paper ... who can be trusted and kills him. Then, Regan is poisoned by Goneril. When Glauster finds out that Edgar has been disguised as a homeless guy all along, he has a heart attack and dies. When everyone is dead, Goneril kills herself. Cordelia and Lear are executed earlier in the play by Edmund and before he dies he has a change of heart and warns everyone that they are about to be killed. Before anyone can save them, Cordelia is killed and Lear dies of a broken heart.
The only ones left alive are Edgar and Goneril’s husband, Albany. There is no future left for either person. The philosophy behind King Lear shows that you cannot have a life or future without friends and family. You cannot have a family without love and honesty. There are fundamental rules in life that one must follow. You cannot use people to get what you want you have to treat people with respect.
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