King Lear
Act I, Scene i, Lines 95~104

Cordelia: Good my lord,
              You have begot me, bred me, lov'd me: I
              Return those duties back as are right fit,
              Obey you, love you, and most honor you.
              Why have my sisters husbands, if they say
              They love you all? Happily, when I shall wed,
              That lord whose hand must take my plight shall carry
              Half my love with him, half my care and duty.
              Sure I shall never marry like my sisters,
              [To love my father all].

I had not encountered King Lear either during high school or even in college.  It is understandable, however, since every single one of Shakespeare's works play a significant role in the world of English literature.  As a teacher, the task of selecting one or two works for analysis and discussion is extremely difficult.  Most would choose to begin with the more popular ones because students might have already been familiar with the plot, like 'Romeo and Juliet', 'Julius Caesar', 'Macbeth', or 'Hamlet'.

My reading of King Lear began only recently, though the character of Cordelia have already made an impressive impression on me.  King Lear has decided to divide his assets among his daughters according to their declaration of his three daughters' love towards him.  Without surprise, the two elder ones who covet their father's property, begin flattering him by bragging how much they love him.  Cordelia, however, chooses a more noble action - to tell the truth.  These few lines epitomize what father-daughter relationships should really be like, however, in King Lear, it is the cause of the tragedy of both King Lear and Cordelia.

Although she is not the protagonist, she is definitely one of the most interesting characters in this play.




Epilogue:The version consulted for these audio readings: The Riverside Shakespeare.  2nd ed. Houghton Mifflin.1997.

收場白:錄音檔參考版本為:The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Houghton Mifflin. 1997.
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