Rashness In King Lear

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ACT I Early on in the Shakespearean play, King Lear makes the decision to refuse giving Cordelia a portion of the kingdom and disowns her as she does not falsely amplify her love to her father the way her sisters had. The decision is rash and even Lear’s servant Kent tries to tell Lear that he is not thinking on this decision clearly. Lear stubbornly keeps his word even though he admitted that Cordelia was his favorite and that he planned to spend his old age with her. The question as to why Lear did not swallow his pride despite his regret and hands the kingdom over to Cordelia’s two sisters and their husbands. Anyone in a position of power similar to Lear’s would likely have an ego problem, this being one of the reasons he did not go back on his word. A king cannot back down, especially from a little girl despite whether or not she is his own daughter. In a way, this was meant to save face for King Lear and keep his reputation. Regan and Goneril discuss the issue as well, referring to Lear as “senile” and that his old age was surely the reason for his poor decision making and rashness. The possibility that Lear does not understand actual…show more content…
The vast majority of characters in the play either die or are left with nothing, all except for Albany, Edgar, and Kent. To summarize Albany’s philosophy, all those who were good until the end tasted virtue while the rest essentially got what was coming to them. Whether or not Albany’s idea holds true, as virtuous characters died as well, King Lear has an overall bleak ending. The little hope that is left is mainly for Edgar, who watched as friends and family striked each other down, and likely learned many important lessons on the nature of humanity. The characters who lived can put their new knowledge to good use to ensure something as terrible never happens
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