In King Lear by William Shakespeare Lear, Cornelia, and Generic understand love in three different ways; it is not a universal belief. Lear has a limited understanding of what love can bring him. He understands it as power. He thinks when one loves him he can control them. That is why he will only give up his land to the daughters that completely give themselves up to him, “since now we will divest us both rule, interest of territory, care of state which of you shall we say doth love us most” (11).
He uses he phrase “interest of territory’ which helps us understand how Kind Lear thinks about love. He sees this interaction as only an “interest of territory’ which goes back to the idea of how he sees love as power. Once his daughters confess their love for him they get the territory but Kind Lear believes he still holds their hearts there for still has control. When his youngest daughter refused to confess her love he gives her a second chance not to regain his success but to “Mend your speech a little, lest o may mar your fortunes” (13).
He believes in a false love, a love that is full of fear. He wants his daughters to worship him instead of love him. He wants to be looked at as a god like figure. His eldest daughter Generic takes a different approach to love. Her speech is filled with fake confessions of love she claims she holds him “dearer than eyesight, space, and liberty, beyond what can be valued” (11). Her love is out of greed. Her love is not real she, similar to her father, uses love to her gain.
Her love is only representing her love for property and power her love is closely related to her fathers but instead of control she wants freedom, freedom from her father and the ability to rule her own territory. She claims to love him dearer than eyesight, when one can truly never love something more then the necessity to breath see or think. This is where she shows her true character by opening her speech to her father with false promises. She claims to love him “beyond all matter” she loves him more than the world.
This shows how desperate she is for territory and freedom. Cornelia has the purest approach of all, honesty. She begins by contemplating taking the same route as her sisters “what shall Cornelia speak? Love and be silent” (11). By beginning with this question is shows her real humanity. She considers greed and power but in the end refuses which shows her real character. When the easy way out is to “love and be silent” and to decide to tell the truth shows how strong Cornelia is. Even as the youngest she shows strength and resilience to temptation.
Cornelia shows how he disagrees with her sisters “and yet not so since I am sure my love’s more ponderous than my tongue” (11). She knows what her true values are and where her love really lies. When Cornelia finally speaks her feelings she is met with complete disagreement showing the character of everyone else in the room. She knows where her morals stand and because of this she takes the consequences. This truly shows her humanity being able to understand the consequences even if you may be right is what a true person believes.