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Word Count: 436
How central is the idea of a fatal flaw in King Lear More than any of Shakespeares plays King Lear explores the concept of a fatal flaw and the terrible downfall it could lead to It is indeed the most central idea in the play Shakespeare shows us how one flaw in an otherwise normal person can lead to their ultimate demise From the very inception we witness what Lears fatal flaw is - his pride We first see it surface when he decides to divide his Kingdom into three for his three daughters To claim their share they must proclaim their love for their father in front of the entire court Whichever loves him the most will be given the most land The eldest Goneril protests her undying devotion and is given a third of the Kingdom The second Regan does the same and gets another third but the youngest Cordelia is stopped by her honesty Cordelia does love her father dearly and knows why her sisters spoke as they did but is not prepared to take advantage of her ignorant fathers pride simply to bring her land and power Lears reaction to this can be likened to that of a spoiled child and in his fury divides the rest of his Kingdom between Goneril and Regan and casts Cordelia away from him Hence and avoid my sight A fundamental part of Lears mistake is what he expects to hear from his daughters especially his favorite Cordelia With Cordelia cast away he sets about trying to enjoy his old age but we discover that his two eldest daughters intentions are not as entirely wholesome as we once thought When Lear himself learns of this what he ought to really feel is fear but what actually possesses him is rage The King and his fool are thrown out into the stormy night You unnatural hags I will have such revenges on you
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