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Literary Terminology
William Shakespeare

How does king lear change?


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King Lear starts off the story by making a huge mistake by banishing cordelia and trusting goneril and regan with his power. It turns out this rash decision is what changed his life.

Lear is a very arrogant man. He can not accept the truth if it does not suit him or flatter him.

The two older daughters sweetly talk their way in their father's heart for sizable kingdoms. Cordelia however, the youngest and Lear's favorite, sees the sinister motivations of her sisters and tells her father of her deep true feelings. Lear not hearing the sweet words that he expected, is so dismayed that he banishes her. She leaves the country to marry the King of France.

Lear thought all his judgments were right just because they got him this far. But what he didnt know was that this was the worst decision he would make in his life.

Goneril and Regan make him go mad, he can't face the fact that he is not king and so is in denial. He is blind to Cordelias love.He still thinks Goneril and Regan are loyal to him even when he has no reason to think that they are. The two daughters exploit this by teaming up against him to try and take all of his power which eventually turns him mad. His loss of sanity is represented by the storm scene. This is the low point for lear. He hits rock bottom.

But after the storm scene Lear finally sees his mistakes. That Cordelia was the one he should have been trusting all along. Although Cordelia was banished by her father she still loves him. She sends the french army over to England to try and save him but it is too late. Lear and Cordelia both die but atleast Lear dies an honourable death. In Act 4 scene 7 he accepts that he has been a fool."I am a very foolish and fond old man"

Which i think is very ironic. His own fool turned out to be talking more sense than him the whole time.