Socrates in King Lear

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In the essay, Flatulence and Philosophy: A Lot of Hot Air, or the Corruption of Youth, by Willie Young we are discussing the potential dangers of showing children the vial language and themes in the TV show South Park. Parents all around have a fear of having their children exposed to such aggressive and crude behaviour on this TV show. Young however, relates this to Socrates and how the two situations are rather similar. Socrates makes the claim that a good person cannot be harmed, (Young 7). Which illustrates how Socrates believes that if you provide good for the world and do all the right things you will end up in a good place. After learning this information, it cannot help but remind me of the play King Lear by William Shakespeare. This especially makes me think of Cordelia due to her honesty at all times.

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Socrates believes this because he thinks that if you are always doing the right thing in your world then you will end up in a good place. He believes that you can die in peace knowing you were a good person and smart throughout your entire life. Essentially, even if you are killed or pass away, you cannot be scared because you did the best things you could while you were living and will be rewarded for this duty and you will never have harm come to you in any such way.
Cordelia is the character in King Lear in which we see the most loyalty and honesty from throughout the entire play. From the beginning the King is in his castle and about to disperse the kingdom between his three daughters. The daughter who will obtain the most of the kingdom and gain the most power is the daughter who shows that they love their father the most. The other two daughters begin to flatter their father extremely hard and saying very untruthful things in order to gain the most power. Cordelia on the other hand, refrains from saying all these things because she feels that this is dishonest of them to do. As stated, Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave my heart into my mouth. I love your Majesty according to my bond, no more, no less, (Shakespeare 13). This shows she knows she loves her father to a normal amount and does not feel she should over do it. This enhances the idea that Cordelia is a genuine, down to earth person who does not just say things to gain power.

To follow this, she then is offstage for quite some time throughout the play. However, the more she is offstage, the more we see how cruel the other two sisters are. This helps Lear slowly come to realize he did not make the best call. Cordelia and Lear reunite once again and they begin to be happy again and even though they are captured, Lear does not seem to mind because he has reconnected with his daughter. Cordelia is later found dead and due to Lear realizing the truth about her he dies as well, essentially he dies of a broken heart. This is vital information because we have seen the journey they have had to go through and we have seen Cordelia’s loyalty throughout it all. This is why Socrates belief is so accurate in this situation. Cordelia has done well throughout her life and even though she has passed, she should not fear what will happen to her. Cordelia is the best example of Socrates belief, being loyal and honest will always get you far in life and will never fail to make sure you will be unharmed. If one feels as if good has been done my oneself then there should never be a single question in one’s mind that nothing but good can come from no matter where the world may take you. Cordelia should feel accomplished by all she has done and never be afraid.

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Socrates in King Lear. (2019, Jul 02). Retrieved November 28, 2022 , from
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