Love Within Lear

Like most of Shakespeare’s pieces, King Lear challenges the meaning and expression of love. Especially in King Lear, different characters express love, or what they think is love in a variety of different ways. Specifically at the beginning of the tragedy where Lear is dividing his land between his daughters. The way that Goneril, Regan and even Lear view love is different from the way Cordelia views it. While Goneril, Regan, and Lear define love as what is said out loud, Cordelia sees it as what she feels. In this scene the
differences in how love is expressed cause conflict. The diverse definitions of love are relevant in relationships where love is expressed in different ways by each party. Rather than these differences being seen as an issue, it could be a new way for the other person to look at love or learn how to express love in a new way.

King Lear is one of many examples which prove that love is diverse and unique. Each individual has a different definition of love and how they love themselves or others. Shakespeare brings to life unique types of love in each play he has written. His love stories are not simple, there are sacrifices, jealousy, violence. These love stories are not romanticized, they are realistic. Not as realistic or extreme in the way that Romeo and Juliet died for each other or Goneril and Regan basically fighting to the death for Edmund, but realistic in a way that love is not perfect or easy. There will not always be a happy ending

6 thoughts on “Love Within Lear

  1. Nicholas P.

    I agree with you that from the story we can view love though many different perspectives, rather than faked unconditional love as shown in Lear. i love this argument and find it very interesting


  2. Owen W.

    I agree, I think King Lear does an amazing job of showing that there are many different types of love and ways to express it. I also really like that in King Lear love isn’t the only focus of the play, but rather an underlying theme that is carefully woven throughout interactions between characters.


  3. Abby H

    I really like how you acknowledge Goneril and Regan’s perception of love. This approaches Goneril and Regan as deeper, more complex characters than I initially saw them as. I considered them to be liars, where you acknowledge their professions of love as true, in some sense.



    This is a very true and interesting point. My only disagreement would be that Goneril and Regan view love as what’s said out loud. The fact that they lie through their teeth about loving their father shows they view love as something else entirely. Maybe to them love is power.


  5. ASHBY S.N

    I find your argument the love can be expressed in different ways to be very compelling, especially in regards to Reagan and Goneril. Using your arguments, the sisters become less of villains and more misunderstood characters with more complex motives.


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