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Word Count: 590
Motifs in the play King Lear by ShakespeareShakespeare uses many motifs to expand on the themes of the story His most-used motif revolves around filial responsibility Each of the two plots contains characters who betray their fathers Goneril and Regan flatter their father King Lear and then betray him The drastic change that occurred in their attidtude towards their father is clearly evident through Gonerils speech beforeSir I love you more than words can wield the matterDearer than eye-sight space and libertyBeyond what can be valued rich or rareNo less than life with grace health beauty honourAs much as child eer loved or father foundA love that makes breath poor and speech unableBeyond all manner of so much I love you Act I Sc i Ln 57-63and after she had been allotted one half of the kingdomTis his own blame hath put himself from restAnd must needs taste his folly Act II Sc ii Ln 289-290They both were interested only in getting Lears land and used any means necessary to get it Edmund in the other plot of the play deceives his father in order to gain his favor Edmund the Earl of Gloucesters bastard son tells his father that Edgar Gloucesters legitimate son is plotting to ruin Gloucester This causes the Earl to banish Edgar and give his title and land to EdmundThe ironic misuse of power used by the Earl of Gloucester shows up in both plots Gloucester punishes Edgar and later finds that Edmund was the one taking advantage of him Similarly Regan and Goneril gain Lears favor while Cordelia is left dowerless and banished from the kingdom In the end though Cordelia saves Lear from the betrayal of Goneril and ReganShakespeare develops these major motifs with supporting motifs He describes how revenge can affect families and create problems for the characters He also uses the senility associated with old age to justify the irrational actions of both Gloucester
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