With a new perspective on the definitions of the terms “liquidity”, “swapping”, and “expulsion” from King Lear, one can further delve into the ideas of the expulsion and housing crisis of 2008. When discussing these terms in regards to their rigid definition, many may solely relate them to issues involving finances.Throughout the play, King Lear allows the reader insight into a new mindset surrounding these terms.
In act one, scene one, the reader is first introduced to the idea of liquidity, defined by Investopedia as the concept that “an asset or security can be converted into ready cash without affecting its market price”. In the play, this is portrayed when King Lear told his daughters he had divided his land and planned on distributing it among the three of them: “Know that we have divided In three our kingdom, and ’tis our fast intent To shake all cares and business from our age, Conferring them on younger strengths, [while we Unburdened crawl toward death. Our son of Cornwall And you, our no less loving son of Albany, We have this hour a constant will to publish Our daughters’ several dowers, that future strife May be prevented now]” (lines 39-48). This quote explains how liquidity is demonstrated in Shakespeare’s King Lear through the distribution of the king’s land among his daughters to maintain the crown. Following the King’s decision to distribute his liquidity, he expects in exchange, his daughters professions of love in order for them to gain this land: “Which of you shall we say doth love us most, “That we our largest bounty may extend Where nature doth with merit challenge” (lines 56-58). This quote depicts the action of swapping, defined by Investopedia as “The exchange of cash flows between two parties.” In the play, Lear’s daughter’s exchange flattery in return for his land. When King Lear’s favorite daughter Cordelia opposes this system, she is accordingly banished from Lear’s Kingdom. This act introduces the use of expulsion as a plot point. Cordelia’s unwillingness to participate in the exchange of “land for flattery”, demonstrates the virtue she holds true to in King Lear.
Through the study of a unique system of land being exchanged for public flattery, and the harsh consequences to those who oppose such a system, Shakespeare’s King Lear offers a new understanding of the three terms, liquidity, swapping, and expulsion. A more emotionally charged understanding is heavily contrasted from the plain, technical definitions of these terms. This is important because one is now able to better grasp the ideas of the 2008 expulsion and housing crisis with a different mindset after seeing how similar terminology is used in King Lear. When given the raw definitions of these terms in the original mindset, one is strictly focusing on how these definitions are applied in a financial sense, whereas King Lear opens the door for the idea that this terminology is also able to have that emotional connection. Understanding this makes it so that one can learn about the 2008 expulsion and housing crisis with an emotional perspective, and uncover the human connection to assets that many people lost.