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Theme Of Power In King Lear

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Although Regan and Goneril were quick to act, we question Cordelia’s actions since she didn’t bend her will to get power and land. Goneril and Regan use rhetorical figures to conceal themselves, Cordelia doesn’t compromise herself; Cordelia doesn’t offer empty words to her father like her sisters do, instead, she offers herself—her answer is herself (Lehnhof 405). I would argue that her actions demonstrate her definition of power because she wasn’t going to be obedient like her father expected her to, instead she asserted her perspective even though it resulted in her banishment—these actions prevent Cordelia from being a hypocrite because she was true to herself from the beginning. All these actions demonstrate a form of power to accomplish what an individual thinks is important, yet being in a masculine era, we see negative consequences as we continue. Continuing on with the argument of King Lear being tailored to a masculine audience (although challenging gender norms themselves), we see women in power depicted as cruel throughout the play. In many critiques of this play, we see how women in power are seen as evil because heaven forbid a woman owning land and power. Goneril and Regan are said to have “hard hearts” after have been given all, and its blamed on nature for breeding these “hard hearts (Lyons 272). Women who do mischievous acts are seen as cruel women with hard hearts, but we see mischievous acts such as Edmunds, yet there are no blames in “hard hearts” on
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