Essay about Lear's Character Development in Shakespeare's King Lear

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Lear's Character Development in Shakespeare's King Lear

Though King Lear, of Shakespeare's play, King Lear, wrongs both Cordelia and Kent in his harsh treatment against them, the unjust actions of Regan and Goneril against King Lear cause him to be "a man more sinned against than sinning" (3.2.60-61).

In order to relieve himself of the problems and work associated with holding his position so he can "unburdened crawl toward death," King Lear, of pre-Christ Britain, divides up his kingdom into three portions, one for each of his daughters (1.1.41). To decide the daughter to whom he should give the largest portion of the kingdom, King Lear holds a competition that merely serves to feed his ego. He requires each daughter to publicly …show more content…

When the Earl of Kent attempts to stand up for Cordelia and point out the rashness of King Lear's actions, he banishes him, too. Neither Cordelia or Kent deserved such severe and unforgiving punishment – in fact, they deserved no punishment at all, as they did nothing wrong.

Despite King Lear's horrendous actions against both Cordelia and Kent, neither of these characters takes revenge on him. In fact, Cordelia eventually forgives King Lear and Kent comes back to Britain and serves the king in disguise. After splitting up the nation between his two remaining daughters, King Lear keeps one hundred knights for himself, and requests a place to stay. It only seems fitting that King Lear stay at Goneril's and Regan's homes, since they owe their possession of those homes and their power to their father. Regan and Goneril quickly turn on their father, kicking him out of their homes, and leaving him to die in one of the worst storms they have seen.

Though the actions of Regan and Goneril mirror the king's, in that they banish King Lear, just as he banishes Cordelia and Kent, their sin against their father is worse than his sin against Cordelia and Kent. King Lear bases his daughters' love on superficial characteristics, he banishes Kent and Cordelia – his own daughter – and clings to his pride, not desiring to give up the title "King" even after he has yielded his power to his

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