King Lear

What is the main reason for King Lear's madness?

Could it be because of his initial faults towards his daughter, Cordelia?

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The theme of madness is explored deeply in Act III as we encounter at least three different forms of madness in at least three different characters. King Lear most notably goes, or is driven, to a madness he had predicted in this Act, but he is accompanied by two others whom are meant to be playing fools or madmen but to whom he grants the greatest sincerity. This evil leads Lear to his belief that madness on a large scale can only result from the betrayal of daughters. He has sincerely been led astray in his trust and loyalty and thus plunges into a darkness and a madness which the storm, the hovel, and the night quite literally and symbolically portray. Vividly Shakespeare portrays the transformation of man into storm and storm into man as Lear goes mad. Personifying the storm with himself and the children he has begotten, Lear wails, "Rumble thy bellyful. Spit, fire. Spout, rain./ Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire are my daughters" (III.2.14-15). The storm is given a belly and the elements are compared to daughters. Note even the sound effects are called for at key points in the dialogue to echo Lear's mutation. "Storm still " is included by Shakespeare, for example, between poor Tom's continuing rants and Lear's conclusion that his madness must be the result of the betrayal of his daughters (III.4.59-61).