The Redemption of King Lear?
Shakespeare’s play, King Lear is quite renowned and the folly of the ancient King is a
great example of how not to handle family relationships. The question has been proposed
if King Lear is redeemed when reunited with Cordelia. King Lear does achieve a kind of
redemption when he is reunited with Cordelia in Acts IV and V of the tragedy. What kind
of redemption he achieves is open to interpretation. In order to understand the King's
redemption, it must be determined what the King is redeemed from. Once this sin is
established, an analysis can be made as to when the King ...view middle of the document...
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. The barbarous Scythian,
Or he that makes his generation messes
To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom
Be as well neighbored, pitied, and relieved,
As thou my sometime daughter. (893)
King Lear embraces the evil flattery of Goneril and Regan, and turns away the true love
of Cordelia-this is the sin for which he is redeemed in the end.
Lear's first appearances of sorrow come in his rants and raves that display his
imminent insanity. These rants are prominent in Act III, after he has realized that his
daughters are evil. He comes to the conclusion that he is "a man more sinned against
than sinning"(928). This conclusion leads Lear to the first hint of sorrow and
My wits begin to turn.
Come on, my boy. How dost, my boy? Art cold?
I am cold myself . . .
Poor fool and knave, I have one part in my heart
That's sorry yet for thee. (928)
While this is the...