King Lear by William Shakespeare is a play regarding the struggle between an aging king and his daughters as they fight for power of his kingdom. One of the most important topics covered in William Shakespeare’s King Lear is the idea of rejection and how its role impacts the misfortune of the affected characters. Rejection addresses the topic of cause and effect by symbolizing the situations that occur between Lear and Gloucester, and their children, Edgar, Edmund, Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia. Although King Lear, Goneril, Regan and Cordelia do not comprehend it, their rejection of each other leads to a decrease in their natural human emotions, such as trust and loyalty, that leads to their eventual downfall in power. Goneril and Regan’s rejection of Lear as a father and king can be interpreted as an act of revenge for his treatment of them as daughters when paralleled to his favoritism of Cordelia. Due to the lesser treatment of themselves as daughters to Lear, Goneril and Regan begin to develop a hatred for him that becomes apparent when he divides up his kingdom, and when they refuse to grant his stay in their homes. Lear, in haughty indignation toward his daughter, describes her as having “hath tied sharp-toothed unkindness, like a vulture here. I can speak scarce to thee; thou’lt not believe with how depraved a quality” (2.4. 125-129), which demonstrates Lear’s lack of respect and forgiveness toward his own daughter. Regan, perturbed by these insulting words, responds with an air of rejection, and requests that there be “no more. These are unsightly tricks. Return you to my sister” (2.4. 150-151), as she no longer wishes to entertain the idea of having her ungrateful father stay in her home. Lear proceeds to become furious due to the lack of respect his daugher exhibits toward him. He recognizes his fault as a father in failing to spend time with two of his daughters, but he also observes that all daughters receive equal portions of his kingdom, therefore distributing equal amounts of power to all three children and unavailing to show favoritism towards one child. The feeble pledge of loyalty between daughter and father is broken, leading to a steep decline in the characters’ plots as they fight with each other for revenge and power. King Lear, Goneril and Regan do not understand that by rejecting each other, they limit the amount of power each of them have independently, therefore allowing a different character to take over and destroy them.Cordelia’s eventual rejection of Lear results in greater turmoil as she breaks an even stronger bond of loyalty and trust than that of her sisters. Cordelia means everything to Lear, so when she turns him away it is catastrophic towards Lear’s emotional state and the ability to govern a kingdom. Because of her uncontaminated and absolute love and loyalty to her father Cordelia vows to Lear to “return those duties back as are right fit, obey you, love you, and most honour you. Why have my sisters husbands if they say they love you all?” (1.1. 98-100). At the point of this response, Lear believes that he is rejected by the daughter whom he loves the most due to her lack of yearning to have possession over part of his kingdom. He expected Cordelia to obey his demands and remain loyal, but he sees her refusal to take his kingdom as the ultimate act of rebellion against him. As a result of Cordelia’s response, Lear is forced to put his faith in Goneril and Regan, which comes to be his undoing. In reality, Cordelia is the only honest one of his three daughters. Her love for him never wavers, even when she is banished to go marry France. Due to Lear’s ignorance and inability to appreciate his daughter’s love for him, “Cordelia must sacrifice all before Lear can see all” (Jermann). Lear’s original banishment and rejection of Cordelia leads to his ultimate demise, due to his lack of faith and trust in the right person.Rejection is a recurring idea and trait that the characters of King Lear use to motivate personal gain. Every person and character handles rejection in different ways, and Shakespeare chooses to highlight some of these methods through examples presented by the characters of the play. Some of the characters choose to accept their rejection and move on, while others decide to exact revenge on the perpetrator. Shakespeare’s main concern is to convey the strengths, mentality and personalities of each of the characters and to judge their reactions to rejection to demonstrate to his audience how people handle rejection from others in the modern world.