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Chapter

Week 3 KL Round 1


Department
English
Course Code
ENGL 231
Professor
All

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This is my first time actually reading a Shakespearean play and so far I am truly enjoying it. In
this play, King Lear decided that it was time to retire and wanted to avoid any family or political
conflict that might arise after his death. So, Lear thought it would be best to split up his
kingdom between his three daughters. But first, Lear wanted to know which daughter could say
she “loves Daddy the most” in order to determine which daughter will get the biggest piece of
land.
Cordelia refused to go along with the love-fest because she realized how petty that is. She
knows that it is easy to flatter someone with words but to love someone with action is much
more honorable. King Lear gets furious when she refused because he acted like a child. Lear is
used to getting what he wants and probably felt stupid when Cordelia refused to participate.
Instead of considering that Cordelia could have a point, he let his pride get in the way and
refused to accept her as his daughter. Even after doing this people of the court tried to warn
him that he was probably making a rash decision but he did not want to hear it. This shows just
how immature Lear truly is.
Edmund is obsessed with his status as a bastard because he believes he is living proof of
injustice. He wishes things were fair and states that there is nothing he can do about being born
from wedlock. Edmund claims that he is just as “natural” and legitimate as his brother Edgar if
not more. Edmund believes that because his parents had such an awesome and "lusty" time in
bed when he was conceived, that he is far more superior to any person legitimately conceived
in a "stale tired bed." At first, I sympathized for him but throughout the play I realized that he is
very sneaky and plans things wickedly against his brother Edgar.
Goneril and Regan treat Lear wrongly because they are selfish. If something is not in it for them
they are not interested.
Questions:
1. Why was Edmund locked away for nine years?
2. Could the use of the fool actually be ironic? Is Shakespeare using irony by making the
fool actually the wisest?
3. Why does Kent still want to please Lear even after being treated wrongly?
4. Why can’t the King just reinstate his power and punish Regan and Goneril?
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