Who Is Responsible For King Lear's Downfall

Decent Essays
King Lear, the tragic hero suffers from his tragic flaws and this leads to his downfall and death by the ending of the play. Lear’s tragic flaws are his characteristics that cause him to have a lack of judgement. Pride is one of Lear’s many tragic flaws that causes his downfall. Out of his pride, and anger, Lear disowns Cordelia and tells her that they are no longer family members, but strangers. He also says that those who eat their children will be closer to him than her: “Lear: [To Cordelia] The barbarous Scythian, /or he that makes his generation messes /to gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom /be as well neighbour’d, pitied, and reliev’d, /as thou my sometime daughter.” (Shakespeare, 1. 1. 115-119). Through Lear’s angered statement,…show more content…
After Goneril and
Regan claim their love for their father, and Cordelia does not, Lear disowns her: “Lear: [To
Cordelia] [..] Hence, and avoid my sight! […]” (Shakespeare, 1. 1.120-123). Through his speech,
Lear’s arrogance takes over his judgement. Lear does not want to see his daughter and he cannot
“see” that Goneril and Regan are fooling him and that Cordelia is the only daughter that truly cares for him because she did not profess her love to him. Through this, it is shown that Lear is blinded and cannot see past his daughter’s “betrayal”. Kent tries to stick up for Cordelia, but Lear decides to banish him: “Kent: See better, Lear; and let me still remain /the true blank of thine eye.” (Shakespeare, 1. 1. 158-159). Kent gives this advice to King Lear because he is trying to make him realize that he is blind to what matters in the situation at hand. He wants Lear to allow
Hall 4 him to stay because he knows that Lear is not thinking straight, and he needs someone who can see to advise him. Therefore, Lear is blind to Cordelia’s love because she did not tell him how much she loved him. Lear’s favouritism for Cordelia leads to his disappointment and
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