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Is Lear a good father?

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readingbooks17 | Student | eNoter

Posted January 26, 2007 at 5:38 AM via web

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Is Lear a good father?

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brendawm | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted July 9, 2007 at 5:33 AM (Answer #1)

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 Lear's basic flaw at the beginning of the play is that he values appearances above reality. He wants to be treated as a king and to enjoy the title, but he doesn’t want to fulfill a king’s obligations of governing for the good of his subjects.  An important question to ask is whether Lear develops as a character—whether he learns from his mistakes and becomes a better and more insightful human being. In some ways the answer is no: he doesn’t completely recover his sanity and emerge as a better king. His values do change over the course of the play.  He realizes his weakness and insignificance in comparison to the awesome forces of the natural world, he becomes a humble and caring individual. He comes to cherish Cordelia above everything else he places his own love for Cordelia above every other consideration, up to the point that he would rather live in prison with her than rule as a king again.  Therefore, the answer as to whether he is a good king or not is difficult to say precisely; however, he is most definitely a better person.

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revolution | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted July 15, 2009 at 10:38 PM (Answer #2)

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No, he was not a good father. He showered a lot of attention and love towards the youngest daughters and neglect the two older ones, which brought about a lot of resentment and hatred among them.

Lear was very vain, egotistic and proud. He engages in a very foolish game when he asks his daughter to proclaim their extent of love towards him, which destroys the whole family and cause mayhem ravaging throughout the land.

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meganmjh | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted November 18, 2011 at 6:07 PM (Answer #3)

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He's not a good father. He shouldn't have been so self-indulgent in his means of devouring over his own value.
His act of asking his daughters how much they loved him, and then desiring only those who stated their love for him as being infinite, was clearly selfish, not to mention metaphorically blind of him.
If he had been a good father, he would not have cared so much about how much the daughters all loved him, and he would rather treat them all fairly and displayed his love for them instead.

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