I am sure my love's more ponderous than my tongue.
As the play opens, King Lear is getting ready to retire his reign of Britain. Vain and shallow, the aging ruler requires his three daughters to profess their adoration for him in order to claim any portion of his kingdom. Two of the daughters — Goneril and Regan — overflow with flattery. Cordelia, however, stays true to herself by keeping her words real and reserved, confident that the purity of her affection is more telling than sweet talk.
Nothing will come of nothing.
Honesty and absolute devotion escape Lear. He expects to hear flowery phrases in praise of his majesty and in declaration of his daughters' love. Cordelia continues to disappoint, even after the King warns that her silence will affect her inheritance.
Love is not love
When it is mingled with regards that stand
Aloof from the entire point.
Shakespeare introduces the disparity between true love and selfish pretenses early in King Lear. The egotistical king sets up an auction of sorts as he prepares to divide his kingdom. The daughter who raises her voice to the highest exaltation of her father wins good favor. Cordelia, unwilling to participate in the bidding, loses out in the bargain. Her decency does win the attention of the King of France, who seems to grasp the concept of incorruptible love.