Theme Of Self In King Lear

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The tragedy King Lear is centered on King Lear’s want to retire from rule and setting up his kingdom between his three daughters. Shakespeare presents the many characters of the play to show the complexity of the self. In this tragedy few characters change their intentions but many are deceitful in the path to achieve that goal. The characters who remain true to themselves are the characters with the best intentions and are also characters who are lied against. Shakespeare presents the self as one doing what is best for the individual regardless of the consequences to others. Therefore throughout the play many characters make decisions that surely affect the outcome of the play. Lear and Gloucester are two manipulated characters in the play…show more content…
Through his pleading of forgiveness Lear finally understands that Cordelia never meant she does not love him but that she loves him the most and that is shown through her honesty and loyalty to him after her sisters have betrayed him. This is supported in this scene where Shakespeare shows the emotionally reunion of father and daughter; Lear feels he is not worthy of Cordelia’s love after he has greatly wronged her, but he feels she is going to wrong him like her sister did. Shakespeare has Lear babbling to Cordelia in his state of madness and Lear says “If you have poison for me, I will drink it,” this line is meant to show Lear is defeated at this point and is at the mercy to Cordelia. It is further supported by the line “Do not abuse me”, Lear said to Kent in response to Kent saying Lear is in his own kingdom, as in Lear cannot believe he is alive in his kingdom and surely Cordelia is there to kill him for disowning her. Cordelia has no intention of killing her father but Lear actions show he is not the great and powerful king he once…show more content…
This is a prime metaphor to Lear and his daughters. The phrase “love cools” relates to the fact Goneril and Reagan professes all the love they have for Lear but in the end the rather him be dead. The line “treason; and/ the bond cracked ‘twixt son and father” actually pertains to the Edmund and Gloucester, not Edgar and Gloucester, because Edmund is behind the mutiny unfolding. Gloucester’s quickness to jump on Edgar shows he is reacting too fast and trust has deceived
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