What answer did each of the daughters give their father, King Lear, when he asked them how much they loved him?

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rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Regan and Goneril give essentially the same answer. Goneril claims that she loves her father more than "eyesight, space, and liberty," and that her love is "beyond what can be valued." Regan goes second, and says that she feels as her sister does, but claims that Goneril actually "comes too short," and that she loves her father so much that it makes her an "enemy to all other joys." In other words, she loves her father so much that she can't really love anything else. Cordelia, after listening to her older sisters's obsequious speeches, shocks her father by saying that she loves him "according to my bond," meaning that she loves him as daughters are supposed to love their fathers. She goes on to say that she cannot honestly reject all other joys, and points out that her sisters have taken husbands, meaning that they logically must not be completely undivided in their love. Lear is outraged, and disowns Cordelia, whose only offense, it seems clear is her honesty.