King Lear is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare

"The LEAR of Shakespear cannot be acted. The contemptible machinery with which they mimic the storm which he goes out in, is not more inadequate to represent the horrors of the real elements than any actor can be to represent Lear. The greatness of Lear is not in corporal dimension, but in intellectual: the explosions of his passions are terrible as a volcano; they are storms turning up and disclosing to the bottom that rich sea, his mind, with all its vast riches. It is his mind which is laid bare. This case of flesh and blood seems too insignificant to be thought on; even as he himself neglects it. On the stage we see nothing but corporal infirmities and weakness, the impotence of rage; while we read it, we see not Lear, but we are Lear; —we are in his mind; we are sustained by a grandeur, which baffles the malice of daughters and storms; in the aberrations of his reason, we discover a mighty irregular power of reasoning, immethodised from the ordinary purposes of life, but exerting its powers, as the wind blows where it listeth, at will on the corruptions and abuses of mankind. What have looks or tones to do with that sublime identification of his age with that of the heavens themselves, when in his reproaches to them for conniving at the injustice of his children, he reminds them that 'they themselves are old!' What gesture shall we appropriate to this? What has the voice or the eye to do with such things? But the play is beyond all art, as the tamperings with it shew: it is too hard and stony: it must have love-scenes and a happy ending. It is not enough that Cordelia is a daughter, she must shine as a lover too. Tate has put his hook in the nostrils of this Leviathan, for Garrick and his followers, the shewmen of the scene, to draw it about more easily. A happy ending!-as if the living martyrdom that Lear had gone through,-the flaying of his feelings alive, did not make a fair dismissal from the stage of life the only decorous thing for him. If he is to live and be happy after, if he could sustain this world's burden after, why all this pudder and preparation-why torment us with all this unnecessary sympathy? As if the childish pleasure of getting his gilt robes and sceptre again could tempt him to act over again his misused station-as if at his years and with his experience, any thing was left but to die."

SparkNotes: King Lear: Themes, Motifs & Symbols

Furthermore, it is said that no other play illustrates the human condition like King Lear.

Description and explanation of the major themes of King Lear

This gives them the power and gives them the opportunity to take control and cause the tragic events that unravel later in the play.


Cordelia Continued
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'The jewels of our father, with washed eyes''

Cordelia, Act 1 scene 1, Line 296

when Cordelia says jewels, she is talking about Goneril and Reagan and how they are precious to King Lear, and when she uses the term washed she is referring to herself because King Lear values Goneril and Reagan more than herself.

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'To your professed bosoms I commit him;''

Cordelia, Act 1 scene 1, Line 300

When Cordelia uses the term ''professed bosoms,'' once again she is talking about Goneril and Regan, how they have both professed their love to King Lear, and Cordelia has not because she does not believe that it is right to over exaggerate and lie, just as Goneril and Reagan did.

King Lear - The aging king of Britain and the protagonist of the play


Works Cited
Cordelia
''Nothing.''

Cordelia, Act 1 scene 1, Line 94

This marks change in power because King Lear’s love is taken from Cordelia and is given to the Reagan and Goneril.

Kent (as Lear's servant) being put in the stocks signifies Lear's loss of power and kingship.

King Lear - Power Corrupts Essay - 773 Words | Bartleby

King Lear is the somewhat unfortunate vehicle that Shakespeare uses to explore many of these themes creating a complex character including the roles of a father, king, friend and adversary....

Doing this has taken away the remaining power that King Lear thought he could keep.

How Many Plays Did Shakespeare Write

King Lear's being a bit of a martyr here, as he suggests that he is like a mother pelican who has been sacrificed so his greedy daughters can thrive. Lear is pretty fond of using this kind of imagery—earlier in the play, he compared Cordelia to a man who eats his parents (or children).

King Lear abuse of power King Lear has significant power for a short period of time in the play.

King Lear; Major Themes; Table of ..


Cornwall's Abuse of Power
Edmund's Abuse of Power
Since the very beginning of the story King Lear we see that Edmund is constantly referred to as a bastard.

It is evident that King Lear was expecting Cordelia to praise him the way Goneril and Reagan had.

Ellb3 King Lear Theme of Power Essay - 1025 Words

History Snack: In the late sixteenth century (just a short time before Shakespeare wrote King Lear), Queen Elizabeth I (who never had any kids) used the image of the pelican in order to portray herself as a kind of loving and self-sacrificing (the subjects of England).