King Lear

What is one example of the covering image in act 4?

Show one example and why it has been an important theme.

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Act IV begins on a misleading high note as Edgar is pleased that any changes in his life will have to bring better times. Things cannot get worse, he implies. The main imagery surrounds Madness and passion. This nature of extremes allows for the conclusion many make, linking Cordelia to a Christ figure. Ironically, this idea persists although she is a character in a pagan setting. Standing above the baseness of her fellow creatures, she has arrived in order to nurse her father back to health, having them change his garments (also significant if we think in terms of clothing and character) and bring him into the music. In a sense, she brings him back from the dead, as he moans, "You do me wrong to take me out o' th' grave" (IV.7.45). Moreover, she turns her other cheek to the abuses her father had committed and eagerly forgives him and accepts him back into her life. Truly, there are Christian overtures in this, and throughout much of the play if we look for them. At any rate, Cordelia's sense of forgiveness and the goodness she exudes sets her far above her sisters and justifies the far lengths France and Kent have gone to defend her.