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Is Lear a good king?What do you think: Is Lear in any way a good king?

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finalstudent | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 26, 2007 at 12:16 PM via web

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Is Lear a good king?

What do you think: Is Lear in any way a good king?

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oumaimah | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 20, 2008 at 3:43 AM (Answer #2)

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No, he is a foolish old man. In the Elizabethan times, a king is believed to be appointed by the Gods, he should have gone to full term with his kingship but he feels too tired to go on. He prefers to prepare for death without the burden of running a kingdom. The simple act of abdication leads him to his downfall.

Secondly, a king should have been wise enough to know that he cannot divide his kingdom amongst his three children. There cannot be three queens for one kingdom, it's like having three captains on the same boat. This will eventually lead to disaster!

Thirdly, during the storms scenes, Lear makes reference to the poor, saying that now he regrets he did not take better care of them during his kingship. He was the perpetrator of social injustice and ignored the plea of the least fortunate of his kingdom.

Finally, he measures material gains to the amount of love expressed by his daughters. When Cordelia refuses to gratify his dignity, Lear bans her and Kent. This act depicts Lear's rash and impulsive character unfitted for a King. A king, especially an old king, is supposed to be wise and calm. It's not the case with Lear. 

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pororohandy | Student | Valedictorian

Posted June 21, 2012 at 4:25 AM (Answer #4)

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No, he is a foolish old man.

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