Cordelia is the youngest of King Lear's three daughters. She has a good and pure heart and sincerely loves her father. However, she is so disgusted by the lies her older sisters tell her father in order to get his land and power that she refuses to play the same game. She won't flatter him and stroke his ego, so Lear, in a rage, banishes her, the one child who truly cares about him.
Cordelia illustrates the play's theme that actions count more than words. Goneril and Regan offer their father everything and anything to get his kingdom, but their words of love and loyalty are empty. As soon as they get what they want, they turn on him cruelly. Cordelia, on the other hand, despite her lack of praising, stays genuinely loyal to her father.
At the end of the play, Lear sees Cordelia's true worth as an honest and caring daughter. He deeply regrets how he has treated her, and he mourns her tragic death.