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King Lear's Self Discovery Though King Lear is a estimable monarch, as shown by the loyalty of men like Kent, he has serious character defects. His power as king has encouraged him to become very happy and spontaneous, and his oldest daughters Regan and Goneril reflect that "The very best and soundest of his time hath been but rash..." and that "he hath ever but slenderly known himself" (1.1.297-298, 295-296). After Lear decides to divide his kingdom between his three daughters, Cordelia, Goneril, and Regan in order to get less responsibility in his old age, he creates a situation where his eldest daughters gain jurisdiction on him and loathed him. Lear is unable to cope with his lack of power and descends into insanity. While the circumstances in which Lear finds himself are instrumental at the unfolding of the catastrophe, it's ultimately not the situation themselves, however King Lear's rash responses to them that cause his downfall. Inside this downfall, Lear has been made to come to terms with himself as a mortal man. Lear's self-destruction begins when he stands before the court to split his kingdom and commands his daughters to profess their love for him. Cordelia, his most bizarre and most preferred daughter, idealistically believes that words are unnecessary from the term of love and refuses to profess her feelings. King Lear had intended to give the most land to Cordelia and to remain with her in his old age and he states of Cordelia, "I loved her most, and thought to set my rest/ On her kind nursery" (1.1.125-126). The king doesn't understand the motives behind Cordelia's silence and can be shocked by her sudden response to his demand. He loses sight of his careful groundwork for his long run and from his...