Dylan EricksonKing LearActs 1 and 2When reading the beginning of King Lear I noticed a similarity to Timon of Athens right away in the first scene. The story starts out with King Lear, the King of Britain, splitting his kingdom into three separate kingdoms. He wanted to retire and give each part of his kingdom to one of his three daughters. The thing is that the two older daughters Regan and Goneril wanted to flatter their father and make him feel really good about his decision. The problem is that his youngest daughter Cordelia, though very faithful in her father and still respectable, she did not go out of her way to flatter him like her two sisters. In a rage he gets rid of her title and her section of land. This very much reminded me of the story of Timon of Athens. The Lords are much like Goneril and Regan. They flatter and speak highly of their benefactor to just attain what they want. The Lords wanted presents while the Daughters wanted more land. The difference between Timon and King Lear is that their attitudes are completely different when it comes to generosity. Timon believed that everyone deserved everything and no matter if he was flattered or not, he was willing to give as much as he could. King Lear is much different when it comes to generosity. He more believes that flattery is somewhat of a prerequisite to giving away his things. He is more or less comparing Cordelia to her other sisters, and because she did not flatter him as much as the other sisters, she is not worthy of the land. Also, in this case King Lear does not want to give away everyone to anyone. He is just retiring and bestowing his land to his daughters, which was a common practice for kings to give their land to the next of kin. I feel that King Lear is much more grounded when it comes to generosity but still fails to realize fairness that comes along with it.
On top of these issues of land and generosity, there is also a side story as well.