King Lear Themes & Motifs

This Study Guide consists of approximately 204 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of King Lear.
This section contains 908 words
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Loyalty and Betrayal

Throughout King Lear, loyalty is symbolized in peace and betrayal in chaos, and the audience sees these two forces at work from the play’s opening scenes. When Lear asks his daughters to profess how much they love him, he invites the ensuing chaos by testing their loyalty. Goneril and Regan, who have no loyalty to their father, and only seek to further their own greed, heap cheap flattery onto their father and are rewarded with power over England. Cordelia, who is the only daughter to love her father, refuses, as is banished. Immediately, the court erupts in chaos as Kent, Lear’s faithful friend, tries to intervene on Cordelia’s behalf and is also banished. The chaos continues as Lear schleps from home to home searching for respite and is eventually forced onto the heath in the middle of a terrible thunderstorm. Meanwhile...

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This section contains 908 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the King Lear Study Guide
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