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King Lear False Flattery

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William Shakespeare's play, King Lear portrays one of the greatest morals to its tragic ending. Lear's destruction is unlike any other characters such as in Macbeth or Hamlet; where Macbeth's own ambition and Hamlet's procrastination have cost them their lives. In King Lear, Lear's tragic flaw was that he looked at the surface of the problems that came to him. He is oblivious of the fact that the ones closest to him are deceiving him. Lear's decisions are rash and misjudged and he put no effort into digging deep into the situations that he was faced with. It is not until Lear steps into a deep hole, losing everything he has, that he realizes the truth. As he loses his authority and strength, he begins to recognize who is truly loyal and who committed false flattery with negative intentions. One of King Lear's morals to its tragic ending is the use of false flattery and its consequences. King Lear's two daughters fake their love for their father to control his country and exclude him.

"Tell me, my daughters, which of you shall we say doth love us most?" (King Lear. 1.1. 34-35). King Lear asked his daughters who loves him most to test their loyalty. This line is of great significance to the theme of false flattery as Lear is the one making the error of equating love with rewards such as giving his country away. Lear is unable to distinguish between true love, which is beyond measure, and the falsehood of flattery. Lear does not understand the fallacious nature of his two daughters as he is blinded by the false image of love they express, when in hindsight they are false flattering him because they know that is the only way to gain control.

First, Goneril begins by lying to her father by telling him how much she adores him and would never disrespect him. Next, is the daughter Reagan, she does the same as her sister and lies to the king saying that she loves him with all of her heart. Finally, Cordelia tells her father that she could not tell him how much she loves him, because she had no words. The king was mortified that his daughter Cordeilia could not express her love for her father. His madness leads him to divide the land in two and gave Reagan and Goneril each half. Cordelia on the other hand received nothing as her dowry and in turn no one would marry her except the King of France. Giving the land to the two daughters was the first of Lear's mistakes, for the daughters did not love him as much as Cordelia did, but they wished to have his riches. As Goneril and Reagan become in power they try to make Lear appear to be incompetent. They refer to him as "The Idle Old Man" in front of everyone and start to make even Lear think less of himself. Although the two sisters do this they also realize that Lear still holds a great deal of power in their areas, so they decided something must be done about it. The "loving" daughters command Lear to let go fifty of



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