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The Analysis of the Power of Love and Redemption in Shakespeare's King Lear

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What does it mean to be 'All Powerful?' To command a nation, to have subjects obey, to stand undefeated against your foes? Many past civilizations have been claimed all powerful, indestructible, invincible, yet they have all met an end. What mortal civilizations think of as power is merely an earthly trick that simply prolongs their doom. What if the power to cause the creation or demolition of worlds was feasible? It is a heavy gift that no mortal has the right to bear. Yet there have been mortals conceived of having such power. In King Lear, Shakespeare envisions a world that has existed for too long, a world that has grown too old, like its king. The only salvation this world sees is in the noble daughters of the kingdom, the princess who knows what is good for the land. Cordelia, the obstinate daughter, has a power so divine that she transcends humanity by harnessing it: the ability to bear pain and do well despite her own suffering. Cordelia's continuous self- sacrifice causes the descent and abolishment of Lear's unjust world, and creates the possibility of an innocent and guiltless realm.

The end of the world starts with the disownment of Cordelia for her unwillingness to speak words of untruthful passion to her King. Cordelia's emotional devotion to her father and country are so innate that she does not desire to articulate the feelings of duty that have always been with her. Whispering "my love's more ponderous than my tongue." (1.1.86) Cordelia knows her words can never match to her passions, for love is a labor of the body and mind, the young princess knows she refuses to embellish her love with empty words. Cordelia recognizes that only an unmoral and egocentric society would ever have cause to rely on such pompous acts of foppery to determine its future, and thus decides to willingly condemn herself in front of the social order so that the kingdom may start to fall due to its exposed fallacies. Sarcastically crows "Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides...well may you prosper" (1.1.283) Cordelia curses her kingdom by declaring it full of sinners preventing the country to thrive. By leaving Lear's kingdom she forbids any chance of salvation for the dying country; she was the only hope for a ruler with natural instincts for compassion and justice. Although Cordelia "would prefer him to a better place" (1.1.276) she realizes that her father has thrown away his position and his power, he has left his kingdom to die. She realizes that the only action that is just for her to make is to leave and let the land perish, so she may ease the pain as the kingdom draws its mortal breath.

Cordelia ends Lear's suffering world with her innate, giving touch that brings Lear to a moment of clarity before his world is destroyed forever. Lear's kingdom is a chivalrous-less concoction of corruption, contempt, and covetousness. Screaming to the storm "All-shaking thunder, Strike flat... Crack nature's moulds... that make ingrateful man!"(3.2.6-9) Lear embraces the chaotic world void of natural compassion and love. Lear's world without Cordelia's care has become like the destructive storm around him, and has ripped out the fundamental laws of his kingdom, like the way a storm uproots a tree. Just as Lear's suffering reaches its threshold Cordelia takes it away, by imposing his suffering upon herself. Gently soothing "Thy medicine on

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