Shakes Study Guide - King Lear 1. Unhappy that I am, I...

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Unformatted text preview: King Lear 1. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave My heart into my mouth. I love your majesty According to my bond; no more nor less. Explaination Cordelia speaks these words when she address her father, King Lear , who has demanded that his daughters tell him how much they love him before he divides his kingdom among them (I.i.9092). In contrast to the empty flattery of Goneril and Regan , Cordelia offers her father a truthful evaluation of her love for him: she loves him according to my bond; that is, she understands and accepts without question her duty to love him as a father and king. Although Cordelia loves Lear better than her sisters do, she is unable to heave her heart into her mouth, as her integrity prevents her from making a false declaration in order to gain his wealth. Lears rage at what he perceives to be her lack of affection sets the tragedy in motion. Cordelias refusal to flatter Lear, then, establishes her virtue and the authenticity of her love, while bringing about Lears dreadful error of judgment. 2. Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law My services are bound. Wherefore should I Stand in the plague of custom, and permit The curiosity of nations to deprive me, For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines Lag of a brother? Why bastard? wherefore base? Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land. Our fathers love is to the bastard Edmund As to the legitimate. Fine wordlegitimate! Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed, And my invention thrive, Edmund the base Shall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper. Now, gods, stand up for bastards! Explaination Edmund enters and delivers a soliloquy expressing his dissatisfaction with societys attitude toward bastards. He bitterly resents his legitimate half-brother, Edgar , who stands to inherit their fathers estate. He resolves to do away with Edgar and seize the privileges that society has denied him....
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Shakes Study Guide - King Lear 1. Unhappy that I am, I...

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