Lear's dilemma - future of Britain & Cordelia

Tripartition of Britain - Lear's grand plan

Kent & Gloster - Lear's attitude to Cornwall

Act 1 Scene 1 - Enter KING LEAR

The flattery game - Goneril & Regan

Sharing the kingdom - a third more opulent

Lear and flattery - did he love it or hate it?

Duke of Burgundy - the dowerless suitor

King of France - in choler parted

Edmund - sectary astronomical

Duke of Albany - worthy prince

Queen Goneril - King Lear's successor?

Oswald - this detested groom

Goneril - under the influence

Regan - is she worse than Goneril?

Goneril/Edmund/Regan - unequilateral triangle

Division 'twixt Albany and Cornwall - rumour

Lear's sanity - recovery

The final tableau - Lear endures his going hence

The last word - Albany or Edgar?

Lear's Dilemma — future of Britain & Cordelia

Can future strife be prevented now?

Lear's foreign policy problem
Britain is a strong country but the one danger that confronts Lear and has always confronted him, is an alliance between the other two major powers, France and Burgundy. There is always the danger that any two will form an alliance to attack the third and this is the reason that both France and Burgundy seek an alliance with Britain. If there were only two major powers, that is, two 'super-powers', of approximately equal strength, they might argue, or even have a cold-war, but an armed conflict would not be in the best interest of either as they would have too much to lose. It is this 'two-camp' strategic situation that Lear envisages and tries to bring into being by resolving the various power-play scenarios. How can Lear solve this problem?

Lear's domestic policy problem
A pressing problem is that Cordelia must have a dowry. Lear realises that he cannot live forever and at some stage Britain must pass to his successor. If he does nothing, the succession will pass to his first born daughter, Goneril. Apart from not wanting Goneril to have the lot, he is wise enough to see that on his sudden death there very likely would be a power struggle between his daughters. He wishes that future strife may be prevented now. How can Lear solve this problem?