King Lear Character Analysis
Lear does not accept his loving daughter Cordelia because he expects flattery not true love. In the play King Lear by William Shakespeare; The protagonist, Lear is unable to see the truth because his ego blinds him. Lear is unable to receive criticism because he believes he does no wrong. Another of Lear's flaws is that he does not see the evil around him. Lear expects to be flattered and learns of real love the hard way.
Lear lets his ego blind him from the truth. He believes that he is worth more than what little Cordelia had to say, “How, now, Cordelia? Mend your speech a little, Lest you may mar your fortunes,”- Lear.(King Lear I,i, 96-97) He lets Regan and Goneril who do not love him stroke his ego and therefore accepts them. Once Lear loses his power he breaks down and spirals into madness because he is no longer being flattered. “Crack Nature's molds, all germens spill at once, That make ungrateful man!”- Lear, ( III,ii,8-9) Even after being betrayed by both of his daughters his first reaction was to blame them for his mistakes. He does not realize the truth until he lets go of this ego.
Lear is used to hearing no criticism. Lear believes himself to be perfect because of all of the flattery. He does not know what it's like to be told he is wrong. “Thinkest thou that duty shall have dread to speak when power to flattery bows?” - Kent (I,i,148-150) Lear faces criticism for the first time and is outraged and immediately believes the problem is Kent. Lear does not even consider that he may be wrong. This is yet another obstacle that bars his way to finding the truth. It is not until he criticizes himself that he finds the truth.
Lear is unable to see evil. He is so occupied by his own ego he does not consider that those around him flatter him for evil. He truly believes that his subjects love him dearly and does not even consider that they may be flattering. He thinks of Regan and Goneril as his beloved ones who...