The biggest flaw in King Lear is flattery being confused with real love. After King Lear hears his first two daughters buttering him up with confessions of love, “Sir, I love you more than words can wield the matter; Dearer than eyesight, space, and liberty; Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare..(1.1.53-54) he is bursting with confidence. This does not last long because he does not approve of Cordelia’s reaction saying she cannot “heave her heart into her mouth,’ that she loves him exactly as much as a daughter should love their father..” (1.1.90-91) in his opinion it is not worthy enough and banishes her. As if banishing her was not enough, King Lear tells Cordelia’s prospective husband to leave her, “I tell you all her wealth.” This was surprising to me because leading up to the division of his wealth he considered Cordelia his favorite daughter. The blindness the king demonstrates in this situation is due to the lack of intuition and wisdom. He was unable to observe, interpret and decipher the situation his two older daughters laid out before him.
Shortly after being in control of their father’s wealth Goneril and Regan begin disrespecting their father. “As you are old and reverend, you should be wise.” Here old is meant to be negative. Goneril speaks down to her father with connotations of him being weaker than her in statements like “I do beseech you (1.4.18)” The biggest sign of disrespect comes when Oswald calls King Lear “My Lady’s Father,(1.4.67) This line strips the King of his title and makes him nothing more than a father. King Lear was warned not only once but twice that he was making a mistake giving over all his power and banishing his youngest daughter. Both Kent and the Fool tried showing King Lear the mistakes he was making. Does King Lear deserve sympathy from the readers?” My answer is “NO!!” After all a King should know a thing or two about flattery. Even still, he turned his back on his only daughter who was loyal to him, for simply not confessing her love to his liking, as if their relationship leading up to this meant so little. This reminds me of the saying actions speak louder than words. I guess you could say that the wisdom lies with the fool and the foolishness lies with the king.