Meantime we shall express our darker purpose.
Give me the map there. Know the we have divided
In three our kingdom
“Nothing will come of nothing,” rages King Lear when he doesn’t receive the answer he was expecting from his youngest daughter, Cordelia in the love test he set for her and her sisters, Regan and Goneril, having assumed she will outdo their hyperbolic sycophancy and tell him that she loves him more than they do. Having carried out this family referendum, he decides to split what would have been the best part of Britain between the daughters who were prepared to flatter him. Cordelia is disowned and banished, taking refuge in France , whose king recognises her intrinsic goodness and honesty. The Duke of Kent tells Lear what an old fool he is and is also banished. Enormous upheaval ensues and the tragic body count includes goodies and baddies, as is well known.
The final speech in the play is given to the Duke of Albany who states that we should “Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say”, meaning not saying what we think we ought to say. The relationships between words and actions, reason and folly, youth and age, power and poverty are wonderfully worked through in this mightiest of Shakespeare’s tragedies.
“America first”; “Brexit means Brexit”; ” ’tis the time’s plague when madmen lead the blind”