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Destruction of Parent -Child Relationships In King Lear

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Anjana V

on 20 December 2013

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Transcript of Destruction of Parent -Child Relationships In King Lear

Dysfunctional relationship: Lear and his Daughters
Destruction of Parent -Child Relationships In King Lear

Lear and Gloucester's Blindness to True Love
Shakespeare's General Principle in King Lear
SHAKESPEARE'S MESSAGE:

Mental blindness acts as an obstacle when forming relationships with loyal and good-natured people.

Lear is blinded in believing that
true love
must be driven by the prospects of something being returned
More material goods are given to those who
flatter
him the most
These actions question his role as a
father
and his mental state
Lear wants to establish
justice
upon
love
, to divide the kingdom based on the love his children feel for him
He fails to recognize the bad
intentions
of Goneril and Regan, and Cordelia's true love
His
unwise
decisions only lead to destruction in the kingdom
Lear and Cordelia's relationship deteriorates after Lear abandons her
Significant Quotes: Lear
Recipe for Disaster
Blindness + Lack of Trust = Deterioration of a Relationship
"...Great rivals
"...Tell me my daughters (since now we will divest us both of rule, Interest of territory, cares of state),
Which of you shall we say doth
love
us most?
That we our largest bounty may extend
Where nature doth with merit challenge."
I. i. 50-54
Significant Quotes: Gloucester
I. iv.280-291
"If she must teem,
Create her child of spleen, that it may live
And be a thwart disnatur'd torment to her!
Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth,
With cadent tears fret channels in her cheeks,
Turn all her mother's pains and benefits
To laughter and contempt, that she may feel
How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child!"
Dysfunctional relationship: Gloucester and his Sons
Both Lear and Gloucester fail to see the true nature of their children
Blindness to the truth
and lack of trust in their children eventually leads to realization in the truth
Blindness allows both characters to discover the truth through experience
Both Lear and Gloucester make unwise decisions which ruin their relationship with family members for most of the play
It is as if
Shakespeare
is saying that people who make unwise decisions will pay the price and eventually learn the hard way
"O
villain
, villain! His very opinion in the letter!
Abhorred villain!
Unnatural
, detested, brutish villain!
Worse than brutish! Go, sirrah, seek him. I'll apprehend him. Abominable villain! Where is he?"

I.ii.75-78
"I have no way, and there want no
eyes
;
I
stumbled
when I saw. Full oft 'tis seen
Our means secure us, and our mere defects
Prove our commodities. O dear son Edgar,
The food of thy abused father's wrath;
Might I but live to see thee in my touch,
I'd say I had eyes again!"
IV. ii. 68-70
Gloucester's blindness can be translated to obliviousness
He was easily
manipulated
by Edmund through the letter and blindly accuses Edgar, the innocent son
Gloucester's relationship with Edgar
deteriorates
Gloucester's rage made him lose sight of common sense and trust in Edgar, the legitimate son
He fails in his role as a
father
since he is quick to believe without questioning or trust
" A credulous father! And a brother noble,
Whose nature is so far from doing harms
That he suspects none; on whose
foolish
honesty
My practices ride easy! I see the business.
Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit;
All with me's meet that I can fashion fit."
I.ii.173-178
Gloucester
Lear
Only when Gloucester was physically blind did his mental perception become clearer.
Edgar, the son whom he betrayed helped restore the relationship between him and Gloucester through the character of Poor Tom.
His figurative vision is cleared when Edgar tells his father that he has a bigger purpose in life.
I. i. 120-123
"...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."

Lear and Gloucester's Mental Blindness
He is reconnected with Cordelia near the end of the play in Act V, but he realizes his mistakes much earlier in the play. The daughter whom Lear abandoned due to his egotistic behavior ended up restoring the relationship between him and Cordelia.

By being kicked out of his throne by Goneril and Regan, he learns that there is much more to life than power and control.
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