Betrayal In King Lear

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In history, there have been many betrayals that have occurred and have been documented as reliable sources. Even all the way to the bible with the famous betrayal of Judas towards Jesus Christ. Or in some people’s opinion, the first act of betrayal given by Adam and Eve towards God himself. Another example would be how Brutus betrayed his uncle, The Great Julius Caesar. There are many more instances of betrayal that go all the way back in history which leads back to the Shakespeare era. In King Lear by William Shakespeare, there is a very profound act of betrayal between the King and his daughters and how it relates back to the relationship between them. Within the betrayal, there are motifs and themes that Shakespeare intends for the reader to absorb and see how wealth and power can come between the supposed love of a family. In the first act of the play, King Lear decides to abnegate his throne and divide it amongst his three daughters that he loved. The King has his daughters compete for their inheritance by judging which one of his daughters can prove to him how much they love him. Now the initial act of betrayal starts with King Lear turning his back on his daughter Cordelia for refusing to have to prove her affection for her father. He immediately disowns her drops his duty as a father. Despite what he did to her, she never stops loving him throughout the play. She is cast into exile while her sisters are appointed power over the land and they begin to rule. One of the critical betrayals within this play is the betrayal of King Lear’s daughters towards him. After obtaining their father’s kingdom, both Goneril and Regan quickly reveal themselves as unloving and uncaring as they deprive the retired king of his privileges. Due to the King’s unjust decision, he winds up not only destroying and diminishing his own authority but also, all authority in Britain.

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