For being the Shakespearean play I favor the greatest, I actually found it difficult to articulate my impression of the text and to sit down and post a blog on it. Without exposing a great remainder of the play for those who have yet to read the entire play, I’ll simply focus on Lear as a character.
When Lear is introduced with his daughters, he explained that he has decided to divide the kingdom before death came knocking on his door, and also to curtail any future disputes that would occur of the process of who should rule. He asks his three daughters “which of you shall we say doth love us most?” (1.1.49); Goneril and Regan fawn over their father, will Cordelia is more sincere, stating she loves him the way a daughter should love her father, no more, no less, noting that her sisters would have no love for their respective husbands if they truly loved their father the way they said they did. Disapproving of Cordelia’s inability to kiss up, he revokes her rights and property. It is quite apparent through Lear’s actions that he is more concerned with appearance then with genuineness and reality; he made it apparent that Cordelia was not only his youngest but also his favorite, so it seems almost inconceivable that he would disregard a favorite child so easily.
Another trait of King Lear I would like to focus on is his sanity. There are verbal indications that Lear is starting to subtly go “mad”, and it becomes quite apparent with his actions of dividing the kingdom before his death and seeking his daughter’s (mainly Cordelia before her disinheritance) to care for him in his increasingly fragile state. For my critique of Shakespeare as a playwright, I feel that Lear’s “madness” is a great example of humanity in his literature, bringing a true sense of realism to his texts.
I would like to continue on the subject of Lear’s sanity however I feel it would spoil the experience of the play for my classmates. I am eagerly awaiting my next response as it will still be on King Lear.