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"king Lear" in Comparison to Sonnet 35

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After reading both "King Lear" and Sonnet 35 by Shakespeare, it is evident that they share common themes. The theme of betrayal appears in both the play and the sonnet, as does the theme of reconciliation. Betrayal is to be disloyal. Betrayal is to let one down, whether it is family members, a friend, or a lover. Reconciliation, or to reconcile is to forgive, or to no longer hold hard feelings towards someone because of previous actions, words, or altercation situations. Both themes are present throughout both the play, and the sonnet.

Betrayal is shown between King Lear and his youngest daughter Cordelia. King Lear is stepping down, and plans on dividing his land into three parts, between his three daughters Cordelia, Goneril, and Regan. In return for the land, Kind Lear requested that his daughter each express verbally exactly just how much they love honor and care about him. Goneril goes first without hesitation. She flatters her father and expresses her undying love and devotion for him. Regan then does the same, but tries to top it, she says things that make her appear to be almost robotic or inhuman but she does this to manipulate her father into thinking that she loves him or is more loyal to him than either of her sisters. It becomes almost a competition. Cordelia however does not want to be part of this competition. She does not feel that she must use such extensive wording and cliché's in order to express her love to her father. She feels that love can't be reduced to words. Even though if she was to comply with her father's wishes, she would get the most land and the best end of the deal, she refuses. This infuriates King Lear. He can't believe that his youngest and most favored daughter will not do as he asked and express her love and devotion to him. King Lear feels betrayed by his daughter. With this feeling of betrayal, King Lear then changes his mind. He decides to now only split his land two ways, and not allow Cordelia to have any of it. He wards her off, and she is sent away to go marry and live in France. He does this to her and says such horrible things to her, and makes a huge public display of his anger towards her. This is King Lear betraying his daughter, but basically disowning her and shunning her off of his land. This however is not the last time that King Lear will be betrayed by his daughters throughout the play. Goneril and Regan, with the gaining of the land, let the power go to their head. They do not take care of King Lear's people. They are power/ authority hungry. King Lear begins to see that his daughters are ungrateful and that he is being betrayed by them yet again. They don't care that he is the one who gave them the land, and that they would not be in the position of power that are if it was not for their father. They don't care though. Goneril and Regan have their minds set on them and what they want, and by being ungrateful and not acting in a manner as their father would have hoped, they betray him.

Another example of betrayal that is shown in "King Lear" is how Edgar and Gloucester are betrayed by Edmund. Edgar is the illegitimate son of Gloucester, and Edmund is Gloucester's legitimate son. Edmund feels that the thrown belongs to him and not his brother, because of the fact that he is legitimate, and Edgar is not. Gloucester is made to believe that his son Edgar is plotting to take over his thrown. Edmund is the one that he gets this information from. Edmund does this in order to cover up his plot to take over the thrown that he believes belongs to him and not his brother Edgar. Edmund makes Edgar believe that Gloucester is furious and enraged with him, and tells him that it would be best for him to stay away as a way to finish his plotting and gain what he so desperately wants, the thrown and what comes with it, power. Edmund betrays his father and his brother all for selfish and greedy reasons. Power and access to the thrown was more important to him than his family. In the end, the truth comes out and the two brother fight. Edgar kills his brother Edmund, and in the end the traitor, or the one to have betrayed his family, is punished by death by the hand of the betrayed.

Betrayal is a theme that is clearly present throughout "King Lear", but it is also present in Shakespeare's Sonnet 35. In the poem, it is obvious that the poet is feeling insecure and feeling a sense of self doubt, because of the fact that his lover betrayed him. The poet acknowledges that he has been betrayed. In a sense betrayal is depicted as a thorn on a rose, or mud in a clear fountain. The poet sees the betrayal almost as a bad characteristic, but not necessarily as a reason to consider his lover a



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