What is the question Lear asks his daughters before he makes the division of his kingdom final? What does he expect of his daughters? Who loves me the most?–>He expects them to fully confess their undying love for him
What is Cordelia’s answer to Lear’s question, and why is Lear outraged by Cordelia’s answer? She loves him like any daughter loves her father, no more, no less
How does Kent’s reaction to Lear’s banishment of Cordelia introduce theme of sight and insight? Kent understands that Cordelia’s words have expressed true loyalty to her father He subsequently warns Lear to “see better” Kent wants Lear to understand that Cordelia’s answer is a more honest declaration of love than the words her sisters have spoken. He realizes that Lear is “blind”; Lear does not “see” true honesty and love. Kent understands that Lear is very superficial, and he offers to help Lear look beneath the surface of appearances and vague flatteries.
In this first scene of the play, how does Shakespeare establish the parallels between the stories of Lear and his daughters on the one hand and the story of Gloucester and his sons on the other hand? The parallel between the two plotlines established in this first scene is based on the relationship between natural and unnatural affections and the inability of Lear and Gloucester to recognize the true characters of their children. Lear misjudges his three daughters. He believes that Goneril and Regan love him, while he insists that Cordelia is an unthankful child who is not deserving of her inheritance. Lear comes to this conclusion based on the artificial and superficial speeches Regan and Goneril have offered him. Gloucester differentiates between his children in a similar manner. He favors Edgar, who is his legitimate son, while he makes fun of Edmund, his son born out of wedlock. Both Gloucester and Lear do not carefully evaluate their children’s characters and actions and only look at the surface of things to form their opinions.
Explain the ambiguous nature of Cordelia’s farewell to her sisters: “The jewels of our father, with wash’d eyes/Cordelia leaves you,” particularly as she reveals the theme of sight and insight? Cordelia’s reference to her own “wash’d eyes” serves as an ambiguous statement that follows the sight and insight theme. Cordelia might refer to her own crying as she leaves her family, but, on another level, she might refer to her own clarity of vision, her insight and understanding into the true nature of her sisters’ love for their father. Cordelia’s eyes have been “washed” and she now sees clearly — she understands that her sisters have been insincere in their declarations of love to their father. The expression “jewels of our father” also refers to the sight and insight theme. “jewels” might serve as a synonym for eyes. Cordelia understands that her father falsely trusts her sisters. He “sees” things the way Regan and Goneril want him to see things. By looking at the world through the eyes of Regan and Goneril, Lear is misled and commits the mistake of banishing Cordelia and giving up his power.
How does Lear’s “love test” foreshadow the way the plot is going to play out and suggest the primary character motivation for the action of the play? By promising to divide his kingdom based on who loves him the most, Lear has essentially pitted daughter against daughter. This suggests that sibling rivalry is the predominant motivation.
What emotional reasons are suggested for Goneril and Reagan’s later treatment of their father and Cordelia? Lear clearly favors Cordelia. He says he will divide his kingdom based on each daughter’s profession of love, yet he gives each daughter her share before the others have spoken, saving the best portion for Cordelia. Clearly the two older sisters would envy their obviously-favored youngest sister and resent their father for his obvious favoritism.
How does Gloucester’s expression “my old heart is crack’d, is crack’d” illustrate the parallel between Gloucester and Lear when it comes to old age and their relationships with their children? Because King Lear said something similar, this represents their dissapointment and sadness of their failure children.
How has Lear himself upset the “natural order”? Royalty is born to its rank, authority, and priveleges. A proper king has an obligation to reign, not merely a prerogative. By abdicating his authority, Lear is essentially abandoning his rightful place in the Universe.
What does Kent say about Oswald’s character when he metaphorically claims “a tailor made thee”? Kent believes that Oswald is dimwitted and has no character. He says he is “tailor made” meaning is Gonereil’s puppet.
Why does Kent attempt to dissuade Cornwall and Regan from putting him in the stocks? Because he is King Lear’s servant he expects to be treated with respect. He believes that by being put in stocks it will offend the King.
What do Gloucester’s and Edmund’s comments about the constellations of the stars reveal about their individual beliefs in the power of the stars or fate? Gloucester expresses his belief that the constellations of the stars are responsible for the mischief that is happening in the world. He associates Edgar’s presumed conspiracy and other recent events in the kingdom with “late eclipses in the sun and moon.” Edmund, on the other hand, does not believe that the stars influence human existence. He recognizes that many people, including his father, look to the stars for answers instead of taking personal responsibility for their actions and for the events that occur around them.
How does Gloucester’s response to Kent’s being put in the stocks reflect the parallel between Gloucester’s and Lear’s relationships with their children? Gloucester defends kent and asks Cornwall not to put him in stocks. He knows that Lear will be upset because of the disrespect from his daughter. He can relate becuase he to is experiencing disrespect.
What concerns about Lear’s intentions does Goneril’s express during her conversation with Oswald? Goneril fears that even though Lear has divided his kingdom and given up his power he will continue to demand control and authority. Goneril compares her father to an old man who acts like a child and must be treated accordingly. She uses this analogy to justify her disrespectful behavior and her subsequent decisions.
Whom does Goneril decide to contact by letter at the end of the scene, and why? Goneril vows to write to her sister to ensure that both of them are on the same page when it comes to the treatment of their father. She wants to ensure that Regan, too, does not want their father to retain any degree of power and authority. In writing a letter, she takes the first step in developing the filial conspiracy against Lear
How does Kent’s disguise support the theme of sight and insight? The banished Kent assumes a disguise and subsequently offers his services to Lear. He knows that Lear does not want to see “Kent” again, but he hopes that he can still be of service to the former King. Kent wants to prove his loyalty to Lear by serving him and offering him valuable advice, even if he does not receive credit as the former Kent. The disguise Kent assumes supports the theme of sight and insight by demonstrating that Lear must learn not to judge people according to their exterior appearances and superficial behaviors. Lear has banished Kent rashly based on a hasty decision, but he eagerly accepts the disguised Kent into his service, because Kent’s loyalty and good character remain unchanged.
On what does Kent base his hopes for the future at the end of the scene, once he has been put in the stocks? He hopes Cordelia hears the news and seeks avengance and he also calls on fortune and asks for her help on the situation.How does the Gloucester plot continue to parallel the main plot? What does Shakespeare achieve by keeping the two plots so carefully parallel?
What wisdom does the Fool express about possessions on the one hand and about “nothing” on the other hand? The Fool indicates that Lear was wrong to give up control over his kingdom. He believes that Lear falsely relied on the goodwill of his daughters. Now that Lear must realize that his daughters do not allow him to retain a certain degree of authority and power, he mustrecognize that he has lost all of his possessions and lands. All that is left is “nothing.” The Fool also asks Lear “Can you make no use of nothing, nuncle?” This question likely refers to Act 1, scene i, when Cordelia is banished because she offers “nothing” to her father. The Fool suggests that the “nothing” Cordelia had to offer is, in fact, more valuable than any material goods or lands. Cordelia’s “nothing” was her avowal of true affection and undying love.
What is Regan’s response when Lear says that he and his knights will have nothing to do with Goneril and that he plans to move to her house instead? Regan explains that their home is not prepared to have him and his followers. Regan says he should cut his followers to fifty, then she says 25.
What revenge does Lear swear on both of his daughters? He curses them both saying “terrible things” are going to happen to them yet he can’t come up with a precise plan. He realizes that there is nothing he can do to get revenge and he is losing power.
What makes the sisters’ actions at the end of this act seem particularly cruel? A storm is coming and Regan and Gonereil flee to the castle yet say it is to small for Lear and his followers. They instruct Glouester to lock Lear outside and say they brought this upon himself.
What two events signal the end of Lear’s status as king and father? First, He kneels to his daughters and asks for protections which a king would never do to a subject and a father would never do to a daughter. Secondly, they whittle away at his authority and power by taking away everything he has.
what does the storm at the end of Act II represent? The turbulance in Lear’s mind when he understands that the natural occurance has been disturbed
What is Lear’s curse on Goneril? Lear calls on the gods to make Goneril sterile so that she can never experience the joys of having a grateful child. He contends that, if Goneril must have a child, it should be deformed and a cause of pain, worry, and concern rather than pleasure and happiness.
What do Lear’s hundred knights come to represent in this scene? Why is Goneril’s threat to send fifty away such an important issue? Lear’s hundred knights represent Lear’s status and authority as king. To diminish his retinue is to diminsih his authority. The irony is that Lear abdicated all of his authority when he gave his land and his power to his daughters.
What does Goneril’s reaction to Lear’s curse reveal about her character? Goneril entirely disregards Lear’s severe curse. She shows virtually no emotional reaction upon hearing her father’s condemning words but remains cold and unmoved. Her behavior reveals her heartless and unfeeling character
What does Lear vow to do in the face of Goneril’s behavior and how realistic are his threats? Lear vows to appeal to his other daughter Regan for help, shelter support, and justice. He also threatens to re-assume his royal power and revenge Goneril by stripping her of the power and lands he had originally assigned to her. At this point, Lear still feels strong and does not realize that his decision to divide his kingdom was final and cannot be reversed.
How does Regan respond to Lear’s complaints about Goneril? She reminds Lear of his old age and tells him how elderly people should be guided by their kids because they can’t make decisions by themselves. She urges him to go and apoligize to her sister
What does the Fool criticize in his statement to Lear, “thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst been wise”? The Fool knows that Lear gave up his kingdom and his power prematurely. He criticizes Lear for acting rashly. The Fool’s comment also indicates his belief that old age and wisdom do not always go hand in hand. Although Lear was approaching old age, he did not yet possess wisdom and self-knowledge. Thus, he made the wrong decision in splitting up his kingdom.
What is significant about Lear’s “prayer” not to go mad? First, this foreshadow Lear’s later madness. Secondly, it establishes that Lear’s madness will be the result of, and will mirror; the lack of order and “rightness” in the natural world, as evidenced by his daughters’ treatment of their father
where does lear send kent? Lear sends Kent to Gloucester with letters that explain the treatment he has received from Goneril. Lear hopes to receive better treatment from Regan once he meets her at Gloucester’s castle.
Why does Lear believe that Regan will treat him with more respect than Goneril? What idea does Lear still cling to? Lear thinks that she is wiser when it comes to their relationship. He thinks she owes this to him because of family relations and natural order. Lear still clings to the idea that because they are related, his family members love him which sadly isn’t always true.
What decision does Edgar make that will help him hide from the authorities that are chasing him? He disguises himself as a crazy beggar whos name is poor tom.
How does Edgar’s statement “Edgar I nothing am” demonstrate the connection between the recurring “nothing” motif and the natural order of family relations? he realizes that nothing is left of his former life. He realizes that his birthright and family now mean nothing.
What answer does Lear receive upon his request for admittance into the presence of Regan and Cornwall? regan and Cornwall refuse to see Lear when he is at Glocuesters because they are “tired”
How does Lear respond to Regan’s welcome? Lear is angry and threatens to take her rights as his daughter if she does not welcome him correctly. Once Kent is released from the stocks he becomes more friendly.
What question does Lear continue to ask that Regan will not answer? Lear wants to know who put kent in the stocks.
What emotions are at the root of the Edmund/Edgar plot line? Again, sibling rivalry and the desire for parental affection is at the heart of Edmund’s decision to become a villain.
What information is contained in the letter that Edmund pretends to conceal from his father? If our father dies, we should split everything that he has, and we can make it happen a little bit faster..
What does Edmund suggest his father should do to confirm the contents of the letter? Edmund conceives a situation in which his father can secretly overhear a conversation between his sons.
Where does Edmund send his brother Edgar as the scene draws to a close? Edmund invites Edgar to his house where he promises him shelter and protection from their father’s wrath.
Why does Kent trip Oswald? Kent wants to teach Oswald a lesson, because Oswald treats Lear with disrespect. Oswald does not listen to Lear’s commands and treats him like his “lady’s father” rather than the King or an authority figure. Kent also trips Oswald because he wants Lear to recognize his loyalty; he wants to gain Lear’s trust and respect.
What does Goneril command Oswald to do at the close of the scene and why? Goneril asks Oswald to carry a letter to her sister Regan in which she explains everything that has occurred between her and her father. She wants to press Regan to deny their father the same privileges she has denied him. Goneril is concerned that Regan may allow Lear to retain all of his knights, and she fears that she may then be the “evil” daughter in the eyes of their father. Assuring that Regan is on the same page as her sister when it comes to the treatment of Lear is one of the recurring elements of the filial conspiracy plot.
Why is Lear angry at Goneril? Goneril is criticizing the behavior of Lear’s followers. She claims that his knights are behaving in an unruly, loud, and disruptive manner. She has therefore decided to send away fifty of Lear’s followers and demands that only a few remain and behave in an orderly fashion. Goneril also criticizes the behavior of Lear’s Fool.
How does Gloucester react when he learns about Edgar’s alleged intentions to attack and murder him? He is infuriated and wants to kill him. He says that he will either be killed or turned in for a reward and killed.
How does the conversation between Gloucester and Edmund, following Edgar’s escape, signal a reversal of the relationships that Edgar and Edmund have with their father? They are bonding over their hatred of their brother/son. Edmund was kissing up saying how he urged Edgar not to kill his father and Glocuester is buying it.
What rumor of political upheaval reaches the castle of Gloucester? That there is a war brewing between duke cornwall and albany
Why does Edmund injure himself to draw blood? to add in to the idea that his brother injured him