Concerning the relationship between parents and children, the concepts of love and justice are crucial for the moral formation of younger generation. The obligation of parents is too teach children the values, which are important for future life. Moreover, sometimes parents demand excellence from their children, and after recognize them for their achievements. Then it comes to a great dilemma: is it possible to love children simply for who they are and not only for what they achieve in life? To solve this dilemma and answer the questions, we are in need of some emotional and sentimental experience, which is possible to gain by reading good-written poetry. And what can be better than good old classical poems, which teach the good and reveal the real side of past and present life with extrapolation to future. For example, a great drama of past and modern ages King Lear by William Shakespeare.

Edgar and His Father

Good poetry teaches us, makes thinking about vital ethical problems. The concepts of combining parental love and justice are vividly seen in one of the main characters of King Lear – Edgar, a son of Duke Gloucester. Especially impressive is his speech towards the end of Act V on a related matter is a union of great justice and love between children and parents.

The scene with father Gloucester and Edgar, where the Edgar’s speech at the end of Act V that is vividly unlike the earlier scene between King Lear and daughter Cordelia, does not end with full measure of reconciliation and recognition but with Edgar’s father, Gloucester’s death.

One may think that William Shakespeare decided not to present directly this situation of Gloucester and his son as a piece of the dramatic action of this play, presumably because of its relative failure and incompletion. Anyway, the reason Shakespeare refuses stands much deeper, however. We observe that Edgar’s telling а the tale includes his instant recognition about that he tried to restore himself to Gloucester’s good graces. In Edgar’s opinion, this is of much more importance than the scene of failure and incompletion.

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When Edmund Returns

Edgar is the legitimate and elder son of the Earl of Gloucester. At the initial pages of the play, Edmund, his illegitimate brother, returns from several years of absence, and at once supposes to get the inheritance that belongs to Edgar. To gain the fortune, Edmund convinces father that his beloved legitimate son is plotting to kill Gloucester. Then he proclaims Edgar a traitor, then disinherits and disowns him, bars all possible routes to escape. Moreover, pretending to be Edgar’s friend, Edmund informs Edgar about his father’s plan about him. He arranges his brother’s escape from the father’s castle, and urges Edgar to get armed against the forces that illegitimate son has encouraged father to unleash against Edgar. Edmund is cruel both towards Edgar and Gloucester. But Edgar banished from his home still fearing for his life, put a lay of grime to his face and went about in the rags of a poor beggar. So, before Edgar’s escape Gloucester speaks out so called “bloody proclamation”, threatening his legitimate son. Of course, he loves Edgar, but he cherishes law and justice above all, so Edgar intends to escape from castle with the help of Edmund and wear beggar rags. This is the only way Edgar can hide from father’s agents but he can do nothing about feeling despised and rejected, missing home.

Anyway, with the development of the plot, it comes to light that understanding, love and care between Edgar and Gloucester were so fragile that both of them accepted and believed in Edmund’s plot. Edgar is justified by his father by the plot of illegitimate son, who wants to gain inheritance, and neither Gloucester nor Edgar is able to reveal Edmund’s real intentions.

With the example of Edgar and Gloucester in play King Lear, we observe how quickly Gloucester’s feelings change from love to hate and how painful for Edgar injustice is. Really it is very painful to be rejected by those, who we love, care and cherish the most in life. Like it is happened to Edgar and Gloucester only by Edmund’s cruel will.

Finally, Edmund revealed his nature. Gloucester is blinded and brought out of the castle of his own to stand a storm on the heath. Then Edgar led him and prayed for him. Eventually, Edgar reveals himself at his father and asks for his blessing. In this touching moment of the play, before Gloucester is able to pronounce his blessings upon Edgar, the father dies. Anyway, before he died, Gloucester realizes that his beloved legitimate son Edgar was true to him and Edmund was false. Finally, Edgar wins the way to his father’s affections by his kind heart and good merits. He found true love upon justice. He gets love in quite old-fashioned way: he earns it.

By self-disguise in the rags of a bagger, Edgar first did not claim to be with his father. He is waiting for the moment to reveal him, to bring back the love of Gloucester again. Though it seems impossible at a first glance, but still, Edgar believes that it is possible to bring back parental love.

After Gloucester is blinded and put away from his own castle, Edgar in the beggar rags leads him but does not reveal him. He is waiting for the moment, when the father completely understands that Edmund is a cheater, who wants only inheritance following the merits of his own. Finally, Edgar reveals himself and earns his father’s love, though he is destined to die before he proclaims blessings to Edward. Then Edward feel worthy as he finally wins the battle against his illegitimate brother and manages to bring back the love of Gloucester, though he dies.

Lear is Edgar’s godfather, so the son of Gloucester gains new father after his biological father’s death.

Additionally, the play King Lear presents great passages about law, justice, blood, affections, emotions and love. Sometimes, especially, when talking with Edmund, Gloucester underlines that blood is the most important tie between parent and his sons. And in other cases, when talking with Edgar Gloucester states that law and justice are important things in relations between parents and their children and this tie can even move emotions, affections and love. So let us make a conclusion that law and justice play a very important role in the life of those days. Gloucester in Act III proclaims that he loves his son as he is of his blood and, moreover, everything he has is to hope for. So, for Gloucester, both blood birth and legitimate child birth is important, and he has only one beloved son, by blood and law, - this is Edgar.

But the features that are absent in Gloucester wholly present Edgar’s godfather, King Lear. He really knows who Edgar is. Unlike Gloucester, Lear at the very beginning of the play cherishes justice more than love. He intends to divide the kingdom according to the extent, to which each of the King’s children loves him. In the first two acts, King Lear thinks about love in quantitative terms and in terms of justice. Lear is aware of one thing: the more you love, the more fortune you deserve. Unlike King, Edgar is eager to find love through justice. He is eager to earn love and affection of his father through great “proofs” and good deeds.

We also observe the idea that children are mirrored copies of their parents. Edgar is like his biological father – he seeks for love, not for justice first.

Finally, King Lear becomes Edgar’s legitimate father, the father, who is fond of justice above all. Lear is the person, who deserves not only being a king, but also a good and caring father.

The language of the play is old-fashioned, and it does not make hard to understand the features of King Lear’s characters, their passions, affections, love and care of each other.

Cordelia expresses her love to Lear by her touching speech about her attitude to her father, who brad, begot, loved, led her in life. This speech in Act I is really worth analyzing, as Cordelia seems to love his father Lear, not because he is a king, but because he is loving and caring father. Love expresses itself in its highest concerning love of Lear and his daughter Cordelia. It seems that sometimes her love exceeds his love towards her.

Love between children and parents are often equalized – love between them is a case of living in a loving way over time.

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Children and Parental Love in King Lear: What Is More?

At first glance, it is difficult to find out, which love is of more value, children or parental. Really, it is often taken for granted that no love can be compared with father’s and, especially, mother’s. In Shakespeare’s play King Lear, we observe parental and children love between Lear and his three daughters, between Gloucester and his beloved legitimate son Edgar (ruined by Edmund’s plot), and then – parental and children love between Edgar and his godfather King Lear.

Sometimes, we really see in this play that children’s love to their parents often exceeds the parents’ love to their children. For example, Edgar does not think about revenge to his beloved father after Gloucester thinks badly about him. Sometimes, we also observe examples of great children love towards King Lear from his beloved daughters.

Anyway, undeniably fathers in the play also love their children, although in their own way. As for the parents, their children are the beloved persons in life. As, in spite of having fortune, they always need their children near them.

So, the question about who loves more, parents or children, can not be answered in one way only, as children and parental love are different kinds of love, of different nature. Anyway, in William Shakespeare’s King Lear, we read about future generation having not only feelings, but readiness to take life in a way it is, even with some negative situations. They never get used to take life and feelings for granted; they are always ready to lose the latter.

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Parents should have a feeling of justice towards their children, like children also should have a feeling for justice for their parents. In the Holy Bible we read:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (The Holy Bible, Corinthians 13).

Really, love is a great God’s gift and all the humans are able to feel it. Love between children and parents is even a more valuable gift. Shakespeare’s play King Lear teaches us not only to think at the plot, but also feel compassion for the main and secondary characters, feel what they feel, and for several days of reading, live a life of people in Medieval Age, where everything went also not so easy, when talking about feelings and material things.

Even in our age people are often confused about what to call love as true feelings are really hard to find. People are so much tied to material things as they were in Medieval Age. Times changes, centuries passes by but people are still the same. Material things are very valuable nowadays, just like at times, when William Shakespeare lived.

Not every person is destined to understand the real values of feelings – love, passion, sorrow, grief, care, compassion. All these feelings we feel when reading King Lear, a Shakespeare’s play of all times.

When concerning parental and children love, Shakespeare presents deep feelings of love, which are instantly turned to hate. Some people say that the distance between love and hate is just of one step. So, just this we see in King Lear, when observing relations between Gloucester and his son Edgar.

In King Lear, we observe different types of relations between children and parents. Parental and children love between Edgar and his father Gloucester is of quite different type than relations of King Lear with his three daughters. Unlike Gloucester, King Lear seeks not for love primarily, but for justice. This type of humans of success we can easily find in many fairy-tales, which tell about the kings, for whom material things were closely related to love relations. For example, in some fairy-tales, we see that kind kings are ready to grant half a kingdom for those, who have done something prominent, for example, rescue a princess from a witch. Predominantly, such kings are often beloved by their people, as they often generous to nation, their servants.

In King Lear, we observe different types of characters, and different parental love. So, we also observe that sometimes love without justice can appear to be of very dangerous nature. The situation like this one can be observed in a conflict of love, justice and material interests between Gloucester and his two sons, Edgar and Edmund. Undoubtedly, Gloucester loves his children, but this love turns to hate as of Edmund’s plot against his father and brother. Finally, everything ends with Gloucester’s death and Edgar finds new type of parental love – from his godfather King Lear.

Finally, justice is restored, as well as love. Just we should be positive thinkers, and believe that in real life it will always be so too.

Love between parents and their children is a God’s great gift. Although sometimes it can be temporarily substituted by negative feelings and emotions, everything is possible to get to normal again. Love does not need proofs, although some people often test their beloved ones. Love is positive emotion, and should not be turned to hate, though sometimes life brings us surprises. Love feeling always finds its place in good poetry and in dramas, especially, like it is also present in William Shakespeare’s play King Lear. It is full of touching moments, when love and justice overcome negative feelings. It is a play of high quality.

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