In King Lear, how is Lear's threat, "Nothing will come of nothing," significant for two other characters in the play?   

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shakespeareguru eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The quote is referring to what inheritance -- nothing -- Cordelia will receive if she cannot detail and describe her love and loyalty to/for her father, King Lear.

So, it is significant first for Cordelia.  She stands by her statement that she has "nothing" to say about her feelings, that she would rather her actions than her words speak for her.  Lear, in response, denies her any inheritance at all and tells the King of France to take her with nothing if he will.  She leaves the stage and the play to go to France and marry the French King.  She only returns at the end of the play, finally to be reconciled with Lear, just before both of them die.

The other character that is affected in Act I, Scene i by this threat is Kent.  He stands up for Cordelia and tries to convince Lear that he is making a huge mistake by casting his youngest daughter out.  Lear becomes enraged at being crossed and banishes Kent too.  This causes Kent to return to the court in disguise, so that he may continue to serve his king.

 

tony69 | Student

I found it !!we were sipposed to hand it in today Naidoo,did you?