Is there any justice in the world?

I must say, I was rather disappointed with the ending of the play. I thought for sure Cordelia would end up with what she so rightfully deserved; the inheritance. I mean after all Cordelia was the only one who was honest and true to herself from the very beginning. At the same time I was shocked and surprised I guess I kind of understand why Shakespeare would choose for Cordelia to die the way she did though; with her father, the man she was faithful too. Cordelia’s death and imprisonment at the end with her father represented the fact she was the one true daughter that was there with him, by his side until the very end. Although King Lear and Cordelia died different ways and for different reasons, what matters is that she was the only daughter to go through being captured and imprisoned with her father; the other two sisters were too concerned as to who was going to win the man. When all is said and done I guess it’s safe to say you get what you deserve. Goneril and Regan spent all their time arguing over their inheritance and Edmund rather then paying attention to what’s important in life. Although they get what they deserve and die at the end, King Lear and Cordelia also die, where is the justice in that? Albany even says near the end, “All friends shall taste / The wages of their virtue, and all foes / The cup of their deserving” 5.3.301–303, so that leaves me with the questions why isn’t he dead and how did he end up in charge of the inheritance. Didn’t he play a role is this turmoil at some point or another? Do those words make him a hypocrite? Isn’t the one’s who go through life doing the right thing supposed to end up the bread winner? Before Lear passed he stood over Cordelia and said, “Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life, / And thou no breath at all?” 5.3.305–306 meaning why was her life taken, what did she do so wrong; why are others still alive that have no meaning and don’t do well by others? This play leaves us with a bad taste in our mouth, death seems to overcome all. It reminds us that no matter what we all must face death at one point or another, deserving or not.


2 thoughts on “Is there any justice in the world?

  1. lizvanburen

    I agree; I was definitely expecting Cordelia to live, get her deserved inheritance, and take over where her father left off. Instead, we get Albany delivering these really hypocritical lines about getting what one deserves. It's an interesting contrast though: Cordelia's "heroic" (or, really, unwarranted) death juxtaposed with Goneril poisoning Regan and killing herself in the midst of a childish love triangle. It really shows the virtue of Cordelia compared to her two evil and selfish sisters.

  2. Jessica

    I agree, we expect some sort of justice at the end, but then all the “good” characters die. I was hoping Cordelia would get her inheritance like she rightfully deserved, and I was taken back by her death. This ending was full of emotions.


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