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The Fool in King Lear

  • Date Submitted: 08/16/2011 06:51 PM
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On the Development of King Lear ’ Character s
○ Liang

Junqing

Inner Mongolia University, Huhhot, Inner Mongolia 010021 Abstract
King Lear is one of the most successful tragic characters created by Shakespeare. From tyranny to re-

morse, King Lear’ character is gradually developing, as the plot of the play is unfolded. This essay analyses this process s of character development.

Key words

King Lear; character; development; plot I106.4 A 1672-8610 2009 05-0044-02
tell him what he wants to hear and do what may please him. Everyone seems to be extremely loyal to him and he can get whatever he expects. When he gets old, Lear decides to divide his kingdom among his three daughters, allotting each daughter a portion in proportion to the eloquence of her expression of love for him. This decision is so selfish and irresponsible for the people of his kingdom. He regards the territory as his private property, and divides it simply like playing a game. The eldest daughters Regan and Coneril express their love for their father in most grandiose words, convincing Lear of deep and undying love. Both daughters are rewarded for their “love” It’ time for Cordelia, Lear’ most beloved daughter to . s s speak of her love. Cordelia is an honest and straightforward girl. She refuses to entertain Lear with insincere answers that he is looking for. In fact, it is Cordelia who truly loves Lear. But she doesn’ want to fulfill her father’ irrational wishes. t s So her answer is simply one word “nothing” Lear can’ be- . t lieve this. In fact, his arrogance and vanity are terribly smashed. So he requires her to mend her speech: Lear: How, how, Cordelia! Mend your speech a little, Lest it may mar your fortunes. (I. i.) In fact, it is the unrivalled power and position that has isolated King Lear from the real life and it is the illusory court- ly life that has failed him to tell truth from hypocrisy. He doesn’ know the meaning of...

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