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Sunday, January 31, 2010

love for the sake of love~King Lear

A writer’s use of language in a text by the application of imagery, metaphor, simile, and other kind of figurative language can portray the characters’ trait besides using the other figurative language such as paradox, personification and hyperbole. The writer uses application in his description of narrational voice, presentation of the character’s action, speech and thoughts to reveal the characterization of the characters. Besides that, often remarks and comments by other characters and how other characters act, react, think about him will also throw light on his personality and character traits.
I’m truly impressed by the use of language which is beautifully displayed in “King Lear” by William Shakespeare in defining characterization in the play. The characterization of King Lear and his three daughters, , Goneril, Regan and Cordelia are portrayed starting from the event of the love test King Lear started in order to test his daughters’ sincerity of love for him. King Lear who was eccentric nature was also being impulsive from his words “fast intent”. 

Apart from that, he is revealing his insincerity when he wants the love test to be made known to the public, as a means of dowry, from his word “publish”..When Goneril answered her father’s question she revealed her proud and arrogant traits with her exaggerated statement of her rather insincere confession. . Goneril’s words were loaded with rich flattery phrases; as though she praised her father for the sake of personal gain. Her word “wield” shows her proud and boastful desire to hold in her hand in a selfish way. When it was Regan’s turn to confess her love for her father, she too was being arrogant. The word “mettle” shows her quality of endurance and courage which is added to the word “felicitate” which she boastfully praise her own self. Her egocentric behavior is reflected clearly as she egotistically utterd her love and she claimed that her love is greater than Goneril’s love. On the other hand, Cordelia’s dialogue portrays her meek characteristics as she is humble and obedient. In addition, her self-effacing and modest attitude made her redeem her womankind behavior in the most delicate way . She did not take the attempt to impress her father, and she is not indiscreet as her sisters who are too open in what they say.

Shakespeare uses a metaphor “ my love’s More richer than my tongue” to indicate that Cordelia is a rather reserved person whose love for her father is so true and deep but she is unable to express her true love in actual words. It might be because she knows that her father wants to test her and her sisters in exchange of the love with wealth. From her dialogue it reflects her sincerity of her love as for her true love is not strong enough to be proven with words as true love is also shown in deeds and actions. King Lear is unaware of Cordelia’s true love More richer than my tongue”. Cordelia reflects her honesty in a refreshing and dignified way which is sharp contrast to her sister’s rehearsed and empty speeches. The way Cordelia’s refusal and reserved manner in the love test her father tested on her and her sisters reflected her true nature of a pure and honest daughter who loves her father, King Lear not out of wealth but truly out of her deep sincerity of love for the sake of love. Her utterance reflects her unpretentious character as she portrays herself as not being too obsequious like her sisters as shown in the below textual evidence: “Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave, My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty, According to my bond; nor more nor less.” Goneril and Regan’s love is based on wealth where else Cordelia’s love is genuine love which is based on love for the sake of love. .
Cordelia's reply, "Nothing," is a word that will reappear throughout the play as a key word that is repeated a few times in the play, to stress and emphasize the word's importance meaning of nothing The word “nothing” is as a reminder to King Lear that he really does understand "nothing" about his daughters, and when King Lear emerges from the "nothingness" of his mental decline, finally he realizes that Cordelia has always loved him. The most touching part is the simple word “Nothing”the word Cordelia's utter which is echoed at the end of the play when "nothing" remains of her when she face death in a dramatic tragedy.

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