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Word Count: 1,343
The play opens with King Lear deciding how to retire his throne He decides to divide his land up among his three daughters Whichever daughter can lavish him with the most praise and prove they love him most will get the best land Regan and Goneril are the first to profess their love to their father Lear is gratified and grants each a healthy portion of land He saves the last but best portion of land for his youngest and favorite daughter Cordelia Cordelia unfortunately is unwilling to lie to her father She will not allow herself to behave in the way her sisters did She simply states that she loves Lear as much as any daughter should no more no less The furious Lear attempts to persuade Cordelia to reconsider her answer but after unsuccessfully doing so rashly decides to bestow no land on her and essentially banishes her from his site One of Cordelias suitors The Duke of Burgundy loses all interest in the powerless daughter The King of France recognizes Cordelias virtues and takes her even without any land The loyal Kent attempts to change Lears mind with blunt honesty but is banished for contradicting Lears proclamation Lear is going to live with his eldest daughters yet still keep the title King Secretly Goneril and Regan conspire to not allow Lear to exert his title over anything Meanwhile the Earl of Gloucester suffers a similar lapse in judgement He is easily deceived by his bastard son Edmund Edmund draws up a phony letter that implicates the good son Edgar in a conspiracy to kill his father Then he accidentally allows Gloucester to see it Edmund furthers his evil intentions by lying to Edgar stating that Gloucester is angry and advising him to run away This effectively pits the two against each other and earns Edmund a promotion by his father Edgar flees into the woods and takes the disguise
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