Wasteland and Lear

The dialogue in the second section of Wasteland, "A Game of Chess" reminds me of the conversation between Lear and Cordelia in King Lear. In Wasteland, the dialogue starts with "My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me. "Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak. "What are you thinking of? What thinking? What? "I never know what you are thinking. Think." From that, it reminds me how Lear was bewildered, confused, and frustrated about Cordelia's answer in the begining of the first act: "Nothing, my lord. Nothing? Nothing. Nothing will come of nothing. Speak again. Unhappy that i am, I cannot heave/My heart into my mouth. I love your majesty/According to my bond. no more nor less." The dialogue continues in Wasteland ""What is that noise?" The wind under the door. "What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?" Nothing again nothing." This part of the dialogue surprisingly matches with the expression of confusion from a king or a country. In King Lear, the country is divided into three part after the first act. In WWI, the land was divided by mutiple countries and turned into battlefields. The same confusion in both events, why the land should be divided? What does the land have done to us? However, once the land was divided, the leaders and people got punished. 

The idea of punishment continues in Wasteland, "You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember "Nothing?" I remember/Those are pearls that were his eyes. "Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?" This part reminds me of the meeting of Lear and Cordelia in Act 4. "Sir, do you know me? You are a spirit, I know. Where did you die?" In order to escape the truth, the terrible truth of punishment, the "nothing" in Wasteland matches the denial of Lear to his beloved daughter Cordelia, despite he is already safe in her and his own kingdom. That, it all leads to the archival plot setting in Wasteland and King Lear. Both start with kingdoms and countries, though they are enriched, still the decision of dividing the lands causes more denial on the truth of punishment.