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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.

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Cordelia is the good daughter in King Lear, the youngest and most loyal. She refuses to gain her father's approval with vain flatter, but rather shows her love and loyalty through her silent devotion to him. In his pride, Lear sends Cordelia away, banishing her for not praising him publicly and for not fighting for her inheritance. She marries the King of France, who shows love and devotion equal to Cordelia's by not refusing to marry her after her inheritance is taken from her (as Burgundy does). Cordelia continues to be loyal to her father despite his mistreatment of her by returning to aid him when Regan and Goneril try to usurp the throne.

Cordelia is one of the few good, static characters presented in the play. She is seen as the perfect image of what a daughter and princess should be, and stays unwavering even when it costs her very life. The death of Cordelia also shows that consequences of poor decisions affect even the most innocent of bystanders, a lesson that King Lear should have learned earlier in life. Her death is possibly the most tragic and uncalled for in the play.

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