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- Alternate Character Interpretation: At least one critic has wondered if a few particular lines in the play indicate that Lear has sexually abused his two oldest daughters. He refers to Goneril's 'dishonoured body' and the specific wording the two use to lay on the flattery in the love test is rather sketchy.
- Complete Monster: Cornwall.
- Crowning Moment of Funny: Surprisingly enough. No matter how you play Kent insulting Oswald, the sheer, ridiculous volume of names he calls him ensures that it Crosses the Line Twice.
- Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: The scene where Lear reunites with Cordelia, especially when Cordelia reveals that she is not bitter as Lear had expected her to be.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: The Fool steals the show, moreso than usual in this type of play.
- The servant who fatally wounds Cornwall has caught the attention of a lot of readers.
- Moral Event Horizon: Cornwall crosses the line with what he does to Gloucester.
- Tear Jerker: Has its own page.
- Values Dissonance: Edmund appears to be inherently evil as a result of his illegitimacy.
"Some good I mean to do, despite mine own nature."
- The Woobie: Lear, Gloucester, Cordelia. Although Cordelia counts the most since she never actually did anything wrong.