Friday, 11 January 2013

Modern interpretation of Cordelia, King Lear (Act 1)


Melissa Holden

King Lear
Modern Interpretation of Act One of Goneril, Reagan and Cordelia

Cordelia (596 words)

You, my father, my wise father –gaining in your age, expect me to declare my love for you when you should already know. I am your child; I love you as much as a daughter should. I will not exaggerate my love as my sisters have.

You may want me to convince you of my love, in exchange to a claim of your land, bigger than what you offer my sisters, but I have my pride and will not beg for it. I love you accordingly, not for your wealth and land.

Lord, you are my father and this is why I love you. You have born me, raised me, loved me and I shall love you in return - not for any other reason. My sisters’ husbands claim to love you, more than their hearts will allow; more than sight or breath or blood, but they love your land. My husband shall love you because I do, because you are my father, not because you are our great king. I shall marry for myself, not for you. I will not marry to please you.

I am honest, unlike Goneril and Reagan. I shall not lie to you. Kent understands my love for you. In your old age, you are faulting, behaving unjustly towards those who are true and loyal. I have committed no foul crime or deceit, yet you act as if I have betrayed you, even though I have only expressed the truth instead of lies.

At least I do not betray you as my sisters do, so I may have lost your favoritism  but at least I do not steal from you as they do. I am richer for my honesty and my love than I am for your money.

Burgundy rejects me, although I love him, he loves your land even more. He refuses a bride with no prize attached. I wish him well, although I do feel betrayed of sorts. He seemed to have a fondness for me, but now I trust it was for my riches instead.

The King of France, noble as he is, has declared his claim upon me. He wishes to marry me despite the fact I come with no dowry. He understands my feelings, my wishes. He has no need or want for my money. He cares for me. I hope I make a good enough wife for him after all he has done for me.

My new husband gives me time to wish my sisters well, but they do not deserve my words. I can tell they are intimidated, I may not have the land, but I am still treasured by father, and always have been.
My sister, Goneril tells me I must care for my husband, and be a good wife, as if she doubts my capability as a woman. I did not marry to please father or anyone else. Reagan  pity, is as weak as ever. She will follow anyone who leads. Her need for attention is repulsive, and I shall tell her to mind her own words but my own stubbornness is as bad as her following.

The plot they have fathomed will fail with them. They are too greedy for their own good. I can tell they are worried that the King shall figure out their deceit. Father will understand my honesty; at least I hope he does. With me now wed to the French king, I will not be able to protect him – with the help of Kent. His banishment shall be lifted once father comes to reason. I hope...

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