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With people like Cordelia in theworld, one could not say the human race is generally bad by nature.

You can use these various ideas about what's "natural" and what's notto develop a good paper.

This page was last modified December 3, 2010.

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In the Mabinogion, one of Llyr's two wives isIweradd ("Ireland").

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Cordelia -- did she stay behind in disguise as King Lear's jester?

Lear disinherited the honest daughter.

Brown --Evangelical and professor of theater, has his thoughts and the full texts of the quartoand folio versions

-- artwork

Watch "King Lear" on video clips:More productions:

He is the legendary eponymousfounder of Leicester, site of an old Roman fort.

Goneril and Regan may havebeen embarrassed.

The only hope forhuman beings is that we can be try to be decent and generouswith one another.Whether or not you agree (and I do not), this deepest message explains for me why the "cosmic" tragedy of King Lear stillspeaks to us so powerfully.

Goneril says she loves her father more than she can say.

Restoration themes ("Love Conquors All", "Virtue is Rewarded", etc.) From the same milieu that produced the corny William Dyce painting of Lear and his jester enjoying the countryside.

King Learthanks her and gives her Third Prize.

Edgar's skeptical expression is kinder but seems even deeper.It seems to me that Shakespeare is saying, as clearly as he can, whatmany people in his own day must have believed secretly.

King Learthanks her and gives her Second Prize.

Shakespeare changed his source material -- in the original, the sonmerely talks the father out of suicide.Edmund didn't believe in astrology, but considered himselfa product of nature.

Manannan reappearedin Yeats's plays and the "Dungeons and Dragons" games.

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(Kent's difficult phrase "Nothing almost sees miracles but misery", by itscontext, seems to mean that when things seem to be going really badly,it's common to receive unexpected, seemingly-miraculous help.)Goneril arrives and Lear curses her again.

The "childrenof Lir / Llyr" were transformed into waterbirds in anotherCeltic myth.

He is an old, highly successful warrior king.

King Leardeals with how children and parents treat each other,whether human society is the product of nature or somethingwe create so as to live better than animals do,and whether human nature is fundamentally selfish or generous.

In the old story remembered by Geoffrey, Lear asked histhree daughters whether they loved him.

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The commentary suggests that this is to promote the idea, popular for the lastfew decadesin some "intellectual" circles, that people who seem to be good to others, or trying to be good to others,are all phonies, and that only obviously selfish and cruel people are genuine.