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King Lear: Facing the Consequences Shakespeare's tragedy King Lear is a detailed description of the effects of one man's decisions. This fictitious man is Lear, King of England, whose decisions greatly alter his life and the lives of those near him. As Lear bears the status of King, he is, as one expects, a man of wonderful power. But, sinfully, he surrenders all of this ability to two of his daughters, as a reward for their demonstration of love towards him. This untimely abdication of his throne results in a chain reaction of events which sends him on a journey toward Hell, to be able to expiate his sin. As the play opens one can almost immediately see that Lear begins to make mistakes that will eventually lead to his downfall. The very first words which Lear speaks from the play are: Give me the map there. Know that we've broken/ In three our kingdom, also 'tis our quick intent/ To shake all cares and business from our age, / Conferring them on younger strengths while we/ Unburdened crawl to death. (I.i.38-41) This gives the reader the first indication of Lear's intent to abdicate his throne. He goes on further to offer parcels of his kingdom to his daughters as a kind of reward for passing his evaluation of their love: Great rivals in our youngest daughter's love, / Long in our court have made their amorous sojourn, / And here are to be answered. Tell me, my daughters/ (Since now we'll divest us both of rule, / Interest of territory, cares of state), / Which of you shall we say doth love us most? / That we our largest bounty may expand/ where nature doth with merit challenge. (I.i.47-53) The maximum signif...