King Lear has decided to retire from his royal duties. He calls his three daughters and asks each to tell him how much they love him. The eldest two, Goneril and Regan, flatter him with their words. Cordelia the youngest, only says that she loves him as a daughter must love her father. Furious, he disinherits her and divides his kingdom between her two sisters. But Goneril and Regan soon turn against Lear.