Debating Cordelia's "nothing"

In this task, students are asked to debate one of the central questions of the play: should Cordelia have flattered her father when he asked her to? They are encouraged to engage their critical thinking skills by arguing for a different point of view from their own.


Ask students whether Cordelia was right to say “nothing” at the start of the play (Act 1, Scene 1). Encourage a class discussion to allow students to clarify their opnions.

Students form two teams: team ‘yes’ and team ‘no’, depending on what they believe the answer to the question should be.


Once students have joined a team, inform the students that they will be arguing for the opposite side of the argument they have chosen. Team ‘yes’ will argue for the ‘no’ side, and vice versa.

Give students some time to come up with their arguments, using evidence from the text to support them, before debating their points with each other.

You may also select some students to form a 'jury' and decide on the winner of the debate, based on who argues their opinion clearly with evidence from the text.