King Lear – Cordelia

Act 1 Scene 1 Presented as genuine and honest. Loves her father but her refusal to flatter him begins the chain of events to the plots resolution.
Asides to evoke audience attention and sympathy “Love and be silent”
Nothing will come of nothing “Nothing my lord”
Honesty is her best virtue yet Lear is blind to this She explains that she cannot “heave my heart into my mouth” and vomit false words. Her dedication to Lear is evident as when she marries he will only have “half his love with him” while Lear has the other half.
Good judge of character and not blinded by looks Calls her sisters words that “glib and oily art”.She is not sad that Burgundy has refused her as “fortunes are his love.”
Shakespeare utilises old proverb that truth is the daughter of time Proverbs – ‘He that hideth his sins, shall not prosper’ proverb usually read on St Stevens day = King Lear performed to James I in 1606 ‘Time shall unfold what plight cunning hides… with shame derives’.
Act 4 Scene 4 Knows Lear is “as mad as the vexed sea” and calls upon the “unpublished virtues of the earth” to return his sanity.
Act 4 Scene 7 To Kent: asks how she can “match thy goodness”. Lear is her “child-changed father”, and claims she would not treat “mine enemy’s dog” the way G & R treated Lear. She hopes “thy medicine on my lips” to cure Lear with her love.
Ultimate act of forgiveness “no cause” – she has no desire for revenge
The Christ- like image Perceived as a saintly figure with her virtuous traits – representative of Gods goodness and Elizabethan ideals of religion.
Act 5 Scene 3 “Shall we not see these daughters and sisters” – her courage does not fail even at the mercy of evil. Evokes stoicism of kings and reveals that Cordelia is as royal as her father with strength to exceed his own.

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