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Macbeth, King Lear and Much Ado About Nothing - Father & Son Relationships

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Macbeth, King Lear and Much Ado About Nothing - Father & Son Relationships

Essay, Research Paper: Macbeth, King Lear And Much Ado About Nothing - Father & Son relationships

Shakespeare writes his plays to teach a moral story, of behavior and love. The three plays, King Lear, Much Ado About nothing, and Macbeth, the parents are very stubborn and their views are very narrow toward their children. The children know that they are treated poorly but love their parents although they have many faults in trust and love. Each play ends with a loving relationship because thoughts about one another is cleared up and they live happily ever after.

King Lear, has many valuable points. Shakespeare emphasizes the importance of love between family members by showing how much harm disloyal or unloving family members can cause. King Lear cruelly abuses his most loving daughter, Cordelia, simply because she admits that her love for her father is limited: "Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave my heart into my mouth. I love your Majesty/ According to my bond, no more nor less." This truthful declaration by Cordelia leads to her disinheritance. However, despite this rejection, Cordelia continues to stand by her father's side and defend him in his time of need against Regan and Goneril. Now that they have their land and power, these disloyal sisters won't care for or even support their father. In fact, the two are now so greedy and disloyal that they wish to have Lear murdered. In effect, Lear, Goneril and Regan are very much alike: their failure to love family members causes great pain, first for themselves and then for others.

Lear treats Cordelia poorly because he does not realize that he has mistrusted his only true daughter. This mistrust comes from the fact that Lear believed Regan and Goneril when both professed their love for him. However, neither is honest. Toward the end of the play, Lear realizes that he has been very unfair to Cordelia, and that the other two sisters have misled him. Cordelia, however, remains true to Lear, as she respects the relationship between them although he does not.

Shakespeare expects family members to be true to one another and have a solid trust in each other. Lear doesn't do what Shakespeare expects: he no longer loves Cordelia after she confesses she loves him only to the extent a daughter should. All of his love is for Regan and Goneril because both of them tell their father what he wants to hear: that they love him more than anyone in the world. Family members should not act greedily and unlovingly, and parents should never favor or trust one child more than another. Lear chooses Regan and Goneril and exiles Cordelia. Shakespeare does not want family members to act in this kind of unjust way; he wants all children treated equally, so they can have equal opportunity; he wants parents respected and cared for in their old age for all that they have done for their children in the years past.

Leonato, in Much Ado About Nothing, treats his daughter, Hero, as badly as Lear treats Cordelia. He abandons her in her moment of need, when her fiancee falsely accuses her of infidelity. The relationship between Hero and her father is a poor one, because Leonato disowns Hero until she is cleared of any wrong doing. Hero feigns being dead, as Juliet does, until she can be freed from blame. Her death gives people the time to learn the truth of the matter, about Don John's and Borrachio's false accusations. This is when Leonato finally takes his daughter's side. Hero, by contrast, like Cordelia remains true to her disloyal father and continues to hope he will believe her.

The behavior and attitude of Leonato must be changed because Shakespeare

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