King Lear, the aging king of Britain, tests his daughters on who loves him the most and who should inherit his throne (Crowther 2003).
His two older daughters, Goneril and Regan, flatter him with their answers, but the honesty of the youngest, Cordelia, throws the king into a rage. He disowns her. Cordelia accepts the proposal of the king of France, a suitor, without her father's blessings. As Goneril and Regan quickly display their hypocrisy, King Lear's insanity slowly develops. He eventually leaves his older daughters' houses to wander on a heath during a great thunderstorm where he unleashes his madness. The disguised Edgar soon joins him at the heath in eluding the manhunt by his father, the nobleman Gloucester. Gloucester has been tricked by an illegitimate son, Edmund, into believing that Edgar is trying to kill him.
Meantime, Cordelia leads a French army in an effort at saving her father. Edmund gets romantically entangled with both Goneril and Regan. In a duel, Edgar kills Edmund. Gloucester dies. Goneril poisons Regan out of jealousy over Edmund and then kills herself when her treachery is uncovered. Cordelia is captured and executed through Edmund's betrayal. With Cordelia's death, the king turns completely mad and eventually dies of grief (Crowther).
The basic flaw of King Lear's character is his preference or reliance on appearances. He wants to be publicly flattered with words. Although his favorite is the youngest daughter, he is compelled to disown her because she does not flatter him. But as soon as he realizes his weakness and mistake, the king becomes humble and cognizant of Cordelia's devotion to him. But not before his journey into the pit of madness when he leaves his older daughters' house and pours his rage and grief during a thunderstorm.
When his daughters begin to show their real color, their lack of respect for the king's authority by denying him the…