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Act 1 scene 1 acts as Shakespeare's basic brief for most of the main characters and sets the scene for the rest of the play. For instance to begin Shakespeare has made the first line of text one of the most important

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Introduction

Act 1 scene 1 acts as Shakespeare's basic brief for most of the main characters and sets the scene for the rest of the play. For instance to begin Shakespeare has made the first line of text one of the most important in the play in developing both the character of King Lear and his daughters and the Kings trusted friend Kent and Gloucester. The lines are Kent: 'I thought the King had more affected (favoured) the Duke of Albany than Cornwall' Gloucester: 'It did always seem so to us but now the division of the kingdom, it appears not which of the dukes he values most, for qualities are so weighed that curiosity in neither can make choice of either's moiety' This informs us of the decision King Lear has made to divide his kingdom. From the lines we can see that King Lear has decided to share the kingdom out before he passes away however to both Gloucester and Kent's surprise he has not passed the Kingdom on to the two dukes, which many though he favoured most and were most likely to be next in line for ruling the Kingdom. ...read more.

Middle

However when Cordelia comes to speak she says 'Cordelia: Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave my heart into my mouth: I love your majesty according to my bond, no more no less' This meant that she could not love her father more than the person she may come to marry and that she could only love him as a father no more or no less. This reveals the previous sisters to us as frauds who obviously only said these things to increase there share of the land. It also reveals more about the King who is outraged at this answer as she was the daughter he had loved the most, and though he still loves her the most he is blinded by disappointment in Cordelia on refuses to give her any share of the land and effectively banishes her from the kingdom. The character of Cordelia here is portrayed as the smartest of the three and the kinder. These are displayed through the text by Cordelia first not coming up with made up lies about how she loves her father more than the world, instead she is honest and speaks her mind showing us that she is a trustworthy character and she loves her father very much. ...read more.

Conclusion

Cordelia also distrusts them which assures us they must be suspicious characters as we know by now that Cordelia is a trustworthy character. Throughout the first scene of the play we begin to build an image of the character of the King that will prepare us for what is to come later on into the play. The King appears to be irrational and easily irritable. His un-rest at his old age appears to cloud both his Judgement and his conscience. Throughout the first scene we witness the Kings condition slowly deteriorate from the initial decision to split the kingdom to the banishing of Cordelia. The daughter's characters are also developed. While we see Cordelia as the trustworthy daughter that has vowed to stay by and protect her father the other two sisters are shown and revealed as liars and frauds. A trait that will probably be shown throughout the play. The last of the characters are very similar. Both trusted friends of the King lead us to believe that they will be involved with the King in some way or the other throughout the play. David Chapman ?? ?? ?? ?? How does the opening lines and the Character of King Lear and his daughters shown in Act 1 Scene 1 prepare us for the rest of the play ...read more.

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