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Is King Lear "largely about rebellion"?

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Is King Lear "largely about rebellion"? One of the major themes within King Lear is that of conflict and rebellion as is highlighted when King Lear asks his three daughters (Cordelia, Reegan, and Gonerill) "who doth love me most". Cordelia refuses to conform to her father's wishes and does not take part in the charade that her sisters play. This is a rebellion because she knows what she should say and what her father wants her to say. She is rebelling against the tradition that the children should obey their parent's wishes. An example of this rebellion is illustrated when Lear says to Cordelia "what can you say to draw a third more opulent than your sisters? Speak." Cordelia replies "Nothing, my Lord" Lear, startled, replies "Nothing?" Cordelia then says "nothing". This is an again a rebellion because Lear even gives her a third chance "How, how Cordelia? Mend your speech a little." But she still does not change her mind. ...read more.


Kent then calls him an "old man" and "foolish". This again is a rebellion because he is inferior to the king and should not insult him. This is very brave and honest but is also terribly foolish because if he had kept quiet they would still be with the King. I believe that Kent did this because he is very much his own man and at times rather hot tempered. Another point at which Kent rebels is when he comes back disguised, although he has been banished by the King after his provocative rant earlier on in the play. Kent is foolish but loyal to go back. The King is on his way down and Kent clings onto him and this therefore will bring Kent down with him. Kent is also noble and loyal again to go back to the king because he sacked him in a moment of madness and I believe that if they were sacked unjustly most people would be very resentful. ...read more.


The letter contains the supposed truth of what Edgar actually thinks about his father. When his father Gloucester sees it he naturally thinks that it is from Edgar and is furious. Edmond is rebelling in this instance against society, tradition and his father. He is rebelling against society in that way that the illegitimate or bastard son is inferior to the legitimate son. He is rebelling against tradition because even now in the royal family that the first born son inherits practically everything that the family owns, rather than the second. He is rebelling Against his father in the sense that he is obviously lying to his father about who wrote the letter because he knows that this will provoke a reaction from his father and he will disown Edgar for writing those things and then he will get the family's fortunes. In conclusion I think that the play on the whole is about rebellion. Almost everyone in the play rebels in their own little way .I think that this was intentional for the play to have one of the main themes to be about rebellion. Matthew Goodwin 10MA Mr Mar English Coursework -First Draft ...read more.

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