In the play King Lear by William Shakespeare, the good children are disowned by their fathers, but they do not stop loving their fathers and they eventually come back to rescue them from their misery. Shakespeare uses characterization of Cornelia and Edgar to show how true children will always love their parents even if they are sinned against. Cornelia is disowned by her father while Edgar is forced to disown himself. Eventually they forgive their fathers and aide in their recovery from insanity. Edger’s and Cordillera’s love for their fathers is so strong that they become the reason for their fathers’ death.
Cornelia is disowned by her father while Edgar disowns himself. Cornelia and Edgar are disowned in two different ways, yet there are many similarities. When Cornelia is asked to address her love for her father King Lear, she is unable to “heave” her heart into her mouth (1, 82-83). The imagery created shows how it is impossible to say how one truly feels. Lear is enraged because his authority’s at risk and therefore, disowns Cornelia: Here I disclaim all my paternal care, Propinquity, and property of blood, And as a stranger to my heart and me Hold thee from this for ever.
The barbarous Scythian, Or he that makes his generation Messes to gorge his appetite, Shall be as well neighboring, pitied, and relieved As thou, my sometime daughter. (1 , 105-112) This passage from the play is rich in imagery. Lear compares him rejecting his daughter to barbarians who eat their own children for dinner. The metaphor shows to which extent Lear hates his own daughter because she can’t express her love for him. Edgar is also disowned by his father but in a different manner. There is never a face-to-face conversation where Gloucester disowns Edgar.
It happens through the circumstances created by Edmund. When Edmund tells his father that Edgar plans to kill him, at first Gloucester is in doubt. But Edmund manages to persuade his father with a fake letter. “Love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide, in cities mutinies, in countries discords, in palaces treason, and the bond cracked between son and father”(2, 104-107). In this speech, Gloucester mentions that Edgar is no longer his son. Later in the play when Edmund cuts himself and blames it on Edgar.
Gloucester orders his men to find Edgar and kill him. Edgar hides in a tree and decides to disguise himself as a beggar. Edgar says: “Edgar I nothing am” (7, 186). This is a vital point because Edgar acknowledges the fact that he exists no more. It is Just like how King Lear disowned Cornelia, but Edgar disowns himself. He is no longer considers himself as the son of Gloucester; nor does Gloucester accept him as his son. Cornelia and Edgar forgive their parents even after they are betrayed and mistreated; they also, aide in their recovery.
When Cornelia finds out that her sisters betrayed her father and he has gone insane, she invades Brittany with her husband’s army, to find Lear: All blest secrets, All you unpublished virtues of the earth, Spring with my tears, be titan and remedial In the good man’s distress! Seek, seek for him, Lest his ungoverned rage dissolve the life That wants the means to lead it. (18,17-21) The imagery created by Shakespeare shows how passionately Cornelia loves her father and she is willing to nourish the herbs with her tears so they can help her father recover.
When Cornelia and Lear are finally reunited, Lear expresses his newfound humility and begs repentance. “l am a very foolish, fond old man” (21, 58), he tells her sadly, and he admits that she has “some cause” to hate him (21, 72). Cordillera’s moving response, “No cause, no, cause” (21, 73), shows that love and reconvenes is embodied in Cornelia. When Gloucester goes to commit suicide, Edgar also saves his father from death. He pretends that his father Jumped from the cliff and acts as if he is astonished by his s survival. Thy life’s a miracle… /… /Think that the clearest gods, who make them honors/ Of men’s impossibilities, have preserved thee” (20, 55&73-74). Edgar convinces his father, Gloucester that God saved his life because he is not destined to die Just yet. Gloucester regains meaning to continue his life; therefore Edgar cures him from insanity. The difference between Edgar and Cornelia is that Edgar helps his father in disguise. He doesn’t want his father to know it is him. “Never-?O father! -?reveal myself unto him” (24,189).
Even when his father says, “Might I but live to see thee in my touch/led say I had eyes again” (15, 119-22), he doesn’t reveal his identity. This is somewhat similar to how Cornelia and Lear were uncomfortable seeing each other due to not knowing how the other one would react. Edgar and Cornelia show their unconditional love by saving their fathers from insanity. Cornelia and Edgar are the cause of their fathers’ deaths. The familial love between father and child is so strong at the end of the play that Cornelia and Edgar re the reason for their fathers’ death.
When Edgar reveals his identity to his father, the Joy of meeting his son, his wish coming true, ultimately kills him: but his flawed heart-? Alack, too weak the conflict to support-? ‘Twixt two extremes of passion, Joy and grief, Burst smilingly. (24, 193-196) This is really ironic because Gloucester lives when he doesn’t know Edgar if is still alive. He was in grief, when he was blinded and because he betrayed his son. But as soon as he finds out and meets his son, Edgar, he dies of Joyfulness. In contrast to Lear who experiences extreme sadness, and also passes away.
Lear grief is caused by the death of his beloved daughter Cornelia: And my poor fool is hanged. No, no life. Why should a dog, a horse, a rat have life, And thou no breath at all? O, thou wilt come no more. Never, never, never. -?Pray you, undo This button. Thank you, star. O, O, O, O. (24, 300-304) Lear keeps questioning the death of his daughter and also shows sign of insanity again. He prays to God asking for her life back. He is struck by misery, more than ever before, and he dies. Gloucester not only experienced Joy but also grief. Gloucester grief is caused by not being able to see Edgar and because of regret.
Ultimately, Lear and Gloucester die because of losing the one they love and also due to regretting the wrong they have done in the past. The characterization of Cornelia and Edgar shows how loyal children will unconditionally love their parents even if they are wronged by their parents. Cornelia is disowned by her father while Edgar is forced to disown himself. Edgar and Cornelia never stop loving their father and show forgiveness. They also go about curing their fathers from insanity. While Lear and Gloucester have true children that are willing to forgive any sin, their unfaithful children cause them to suffer.
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