King Lear: The Conception and Perception of Rhetoric Through Love

Order Description


Thesis: Through characterization and symbolism, William Shakespeare’s King Lear, exemplifies how rhetoric in regard to the measurement of love becomes susceptible to misinterpretation, as a result of the misconception thereof, through the blurred line between intention and comprehension.


1st Body paragraph


Topic Sentence: King Lear’s request for his daughters to speak on their love for him unveils the idea that love can’t exist in itself, and therefore is measured.


>focus on request

>possible reasons as to why the request was made


Evidence 1:


“Which of you  shall we say doth love us most that we our largest bounty may extend where nature doth with merit challenge”


>wants daughters to compete for his affection (which is represented by the dowry, also tying back to his warped idea of love not existing as an entity of its own)

> quantifying emotions; therefore placing him in a place of importance as a “prize” or asserting himself into importance and satiating his vanity as king

> wants to hear how great he is as a father and king; basically whoever praises him in the grandest of ways, receives the grandest of dowry.

> refer back to him being nothing if daughter he loved the most, says nothing

> everything is only valuable within comparison

> did challenge with intention of seeing who’s love is the most genuine (but ends up shunning who loved him most)


2nd body Paragraph


Evidence 1:


“ nothing will come of nothing, speak again”

> nothing equals nothing, and therefore if she says nothing then he means nothing as well

> love isnt something to exist in its own right, but should be qualified and quantified

.> love is the same as money for him since he is basing his daughter’s affection on the bargain of their dowries

> immediately loses it and becomes angry

> challenges cordelia to make a comparison

> wants to immediately cast Cordelia out and everyone else because he is not introduced to the idea that he is nothing, since his favorite daughter has nothing extravagant to say


Evidence 2: how, how Cordelia! Mend your speech a little, lest it may mar your fortunes


> go into the concept of money being equal to words

> cordelia’s speech has a consequence

> part of his cynicism

>it is established that lear just wants his ego stroked

> basically tells his daughters to tell him how much they love him because he’s going to die

> wants his daughters to gush over him

>the test is a form of manipulation to get his ego stroke or receive praise and when he doesn’t get it from whom he expects it from the most he feels like that which, to him, is not said.



3rd body Paragraph Misconception leading to Lear’s mistaken comprehension of the intention behind Cordelia’s words


Evidence 1: “and yet not so; since, I am sure, my love’s more ponderous than my tongue”


> When Lear asks the daughters to say how much they love him Goneril and regan go over the top

> Goneril’s speech is centered on comparison to everything in the aspect of being “eternal”

> reintroduce the language of comparison

>everything is only valuable in comparison, and Goneril says she can’t put into words how much she loves her father  so she uses many words (superlier terms”

>she doesn’t say i love you alot she says i love you “more than”

>Regan follows suit by basically saying i love you more than infinity

>Both use superlier terms because their claims have no substance

> there are many words but nothing behind them

>cordelia can’t say empty words because she truly loves her father and believes in action more so than words, hence the reason why she can’t speak

> says the quote to herself because of this, because she genuinely does not have the words for what she feels for her father



Evidence 2: “If for i want that glib and oily art, to speak and purpose not– since what i will intend, i’ll do’t before i speak”


> Since love for lear doesn’t independently exist on its own, he challenges his daughters to compare how much they love him

>sets up that quantification of love

>game of comparison for his daughters to show who loves him most

>have no choice but to compare their love, because King lear sets up that idea that love is a currency or a form of exchange

>For cordelia her love has substance, she genuinely loves her father

> she feels privately what goneril and regan pretend to feel publicly

> Glib and oily art refers to the rhetorical language

> the ability to use, abuse, or manipulate language in order to persuade people of things that might or might not be true

> Cordelia is calling out those who use language, not as a medium of knowledge, but, instead as form of delusion.

> describes rhetorical language as the art of persuasion

> talk about how Goneril and Regan’s words trigger Lear’s misinterpretation of Cordelia’s intentions

> language is described as oily

>slippery in connotation, intention, and interpretation

>difficult to get a hold, meaning is subject to change, even though it is a medium in which knowledge i obtained, but in this case of Lear, it is used as a medium for untruth





>basically go over all the points and how Lear demonstrated them

>elaborate a little more on language and its “art of being slippery”



*** Most of this can be taken from the prt 1 recording, but I included Part 2 as well because it might have some more information you


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