Thursday, July 19, 2012

A guide to greens

The most important thing to remember about greens is the darker leaves have more vitamins and nutrients. Another tidbit is that greens have flavor and a variety at that so choose something that will complement the other food on your plate. Also, try to avoid boiling greens unless it is for a few seconds only. Boiling destroys the vitamins in the leaves and makes a mushy side dish.

The green family line-up

Iceberg is the worst lettuce and the most consumed. Don't eat it period. Sure it has some dietary fiber but it lacks everything else and is a carrier of sugars. Plus, it has little to no taste. Boring.

Romaine is my go-to green because you can find it everywhere and usually an organic option is available too (though I still wash it because who knows if it's truly 'organic'). This leafy bundle is packed with vitamins A and C making it a heart-healthy green along with a good dose of potassium and folic acid. Romaine leaves are crispy and its mild taste makes it a great condiment in vegan burgers.

Green leaf and red leaf are softer than romaine. They are a good source of vitamin A with some folate on the side and have a pleasant taste that could be paired with anything. The red leaf is slightly healthier than the green with its darker leaves but both taste the same and can be found in most grocery stores with organic options.

Bibb/Boston/Butter lettuce is not as nutritious as its greener brethren but it has a fair amount of vitamin A and calcium and excels in vitamin K. The leaves are soft with a 'buttery' flavor and it smells good. I have never tried this lettuce because of its lighter green leaves but it would be a good starter in getting friends and children adjusted to the more nutrition-packed greens.

Spinach is a vitamin packed bunch of awesomeness. It provides far more than your daily requirements of vitamin K and A, almost all the manganese and folate your body needs and almost half of your magnesium requirement. Spinach is a great source of 20 different measurable nutrients including: dietary fiber, calcium, and protein. It also holds the record for having the lowest calories per cup with 40 calories. This green is a superhero fighting several different cancers including: skin, breast, stomach, ovarian and prostate, and it also helps your cardiovascular health, improves brain function and protects against aging. Superhero to the core.

Kale is my favorite green even though I don't eat it as much as romaine (trust me, I'm working on this). It comes in a variety of looks and textures from frilly to straight leaves and green, purple and black coloring. All taste great and are loaded with vitamin A, C and K along with calcium, folate and potassium. I recommend thoroughly cleaning kale under water before using because it's known to be a dirty green.

Collards are unappreciated as a healthy green. Their kale and spinach brothers take the spotlight while collards stand aside. However, this broad-leaf, great tasting green has amazing health benefits. It is your protagonist in cancer prevention providing detox, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Mustard leaves add a robust peppery flavor to dishes and the assortment are leaf shapes and colors makes this green a fabulous addition to any meal. Like collards, this green is a cancer fighter and is amazing at lowering your cholesterol. Mustard also has one of the highest folate ratings making it a hero in cardiovascular health.
Swiss chard has a beet-like taste and soft texture. It is full of antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, manganese and zinc. It helps regulate blood sugar and it brimming with calcium, magnesium and vitamin K. I have not tried this green yet but I heard it's great sauteed!

Endive/Chicory is something I have yet to try because its not as green as its brothers. However, after reading up on it this green has impressed me with its overwhelming health benefits. It's loaded with vitamins B and C, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, folate and selenium. It's a good source of beta-carotene and potassium, aids digestion and helps prevent the absorption of cholesterol into the blood stream. The only downside to endive is its bitter flavor so pair it with something robust (like mustard greens!) and BAM! you have an extremely healthy lunch that will make your friends envious.

Arugula is yummy! I'm not a huge salad eater (a weird vegetarian trait I know) but I love arugula salad. Just a heap of this green with some all-natural dressing and some fruit and I'm a happy camper. It's a great source of protein and is rich in dietary fiber, thiamine, riboflavin, zinc, potassium, folate, calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper and vitamins B6, A, C and K. That's quite a hefty list for a green! My grocery store only sells arugula in prepacked containers but just wash whatever you buy and it'll be fine.

Dandelion is a new green to me. I always thought people bought this for their rabbits (though veggies are said to only eat 'rabbit food' right?) so I never considered eating it. This green packs a punch as it provides relief from liver and urinary disorders, acne, cancer and anemia. Dandelion also helps in maintaining bone health, skin care and weight loss. Vitamins A and C, iron and calcium all inhabit this green making it a healthy contribution to any meal.

Rapini, like most greens, is high in vitamins A, C and K. I had never heard of this green before working at a grocery store but it doesn't disappoint. It carries a good dose of thiamin, riboflavin, folate, zinc, manganese, potassium, calcium and iron, and it's a good source of fiber. It has a strong and bitter flavor and is usually used in Italian and Chinese dishes.

Escarole is your go-to green for fiber and is a perfect addition to any low-fat diet. Like most greens, escarole is high in vitamins A, C and K, folate, and carries an adequate dose of iron and calcium. It's not as bitter tasting as its endive cousin and it complements most food dishes.

Kale Salad
My mom made this last time I visited and it was amazing!

1 clove garlic
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. thyme, dried
½ cup sunflower seeds, soak for a few hours, drain and rinse
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1-3 tsp. sea salt
2 bunches lacinato kale, washed well, stemmed, rolled into a bunch and sliced thinly
  1. Puree everything together except for the kale to make the dressing.
  2. Toss kale in marinade and refrigerate overnight. You can eat it fresh but it should be eaten the next day to allow the flavors to blend together.   

Monday, July 9, 2012


Poem I did at work...not sure where it came from exactly.

Into the ice box
hold me close.
I want you near
to escape the cold.

The pressure drops
my breathe soars.
You catch it and hold it
making me yours.

What I had for dinner: Homemade pizza and strawberry rhubarb pie

Making pizza has always been my go-to vegan meal because the dough is easy to make and you can put whatever toppings you want on it. Pie is another story. I have never made a pie before this dinner but I was on a quest to use the berries I got on sale last week. A coworker mentioned strawberry rhubarb pie and I thought it was a bizarre combination and it peaked my curiosity. The pictures were taken by my boyfriend who also helped with the pizza construction. These directions are intended for beginners and so I go in-depth on explanations and directions. I like to learn from clear and concise recipes and that is how I present them. So no hard feelings if you are a pizza or pie wizard (lucky you). I got the pizza dough recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and the pie recipe is adapted from Vegan Pie in the Sky.
Pizza dough ingredients: 2 ¾ cups warm water ¼ cup oil (I've used both olive and canola oil with little difference in the results) 1 tbsp and 1 ½ tsp yeast (I use quick-rise or bread yeast) 1 tbsp and 1 ½ tsp salt (fine or coarse both work) 1 tbsp sugar (fine or raw both work) 6 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (substitute half the white flour for wheat if you want a healthier crust. I haven't tried this yet but that's usually the rule about wheat flour) Directions: Mix water, oil, yeast, salt and sugar together in a stand mixer (or by hand with a dough whisk) until blended. Add flour and mix on low setting for 5-6 minutes or until dough forms into an elastic ball. Mixing by hand will take around 10-15 minutes but it's great exercise! Once the dough is done put it in a container with a lid but don't lock it in place in case the dough spills out. Place the container somewhere warm for an hour and a half. I usually put it above my fridge or in my closed off laundry room. The dough will rise and will at least double in size.
Pie crust: 1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour 2 tbsp sugar ½ tsp salt ½ cup cold margarine (I like to use Earth Balance) 4 tbsp ice water 2 tsp apple cider vinegar Sift together flour, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry cutter (or your hands) cut in margarine. The dough should begin to form in crumbles. In a glass measuring cup, stir together ice water and vinegar, then drizzle about a tablespoon of the mixture into the flour. Mix lightly to moisten. Repeat by adding a second tablespoon of the liquid and mixing. Add the final bit of the mixture and mix until a ball of dough forms. Add a little more ice water if the dough does not come together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Pie filling: 3 large stalks rhubarb, sliced 1/2 inch thick 4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced ⅔ cup sugar 4 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour 1 tbsp lemon juice (about half a large lemon) pinch salt Mix all the filling ingredients together in a large bowl (that was easy).
Crumble topping: 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour ⅓ cup light brown sugar 2 tbsp sugar ¼ tsp salt ¼ tsp cinnamon ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted In a small mixing bowl, combine all powdered ingredients. Drizzle in coconut oil. Using your fingers, swirl the mixture around until small crumbs begin to form. You should have mostly large crumbs, but some of the mixture will be finer grains as well. When the crust is completely chilled, preheat oven to 425F. With your pie pan ready, roll out the crust with a floured rolling pin on a floured surface. The dough should be about a foot in diameter and 1/4 of an inch thick. Using a pizza cutter (or something of the sort), trim the edges so the dough makes a (somewhat) perfect circle. Carefully lift the pie crust and place it in the pie pan with about an inch to 1-1/2 inches excess crust hanging over the edges. Or a nifty trick is to roll the dough around your rolling pin and carefully unroll it on to the pie pan. Press the dough down into the center of the pan and using your fingers, seal the edges. With the excess dough hanging over the edges, you can crimp the edges, or roll it in. Once the crust is assembled, fill the pie with the filling. Spread evenly.
Top with the topping mixture and spread evenly. Cover with foil and cut 3 slits in the foil to allow the pie to ventilate. Cook for 20 minutes on the center rack of the oven. On the bottom rack, place a pizza pan or cookie sheet to catch any dripping filling. Reduce heat to 350F. Remove foil. Continue baking for 35 minutes. Once pie is finished cooking, allow to cool 1 hour. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and serve cold. By this point the pizza dough is ready.
From glob to pizza awesomeness: For this construction you will need: flour, cornmeal, rolling pin, pizza pan (or pizza stone), pizza peel (or deft hands), a desired sauce and toppings. For my sauce I used an olive oil base because I'm not a fan of a load of red sauce, and the toppings consist of a half bag of Daiya mozzarella cheese, sliced vine tomatoes, Yves pepperoni, and chopped fresh basil. Obviously the possibilities are endless so experiment!
Place baking stone on middle rack if using and preheat oven to 550F. Flour a large surface and sprinkle flour on the dough in the bin. Grab a glob with floured hands and plop it on your surface. Flour is your friend here so don't be stingy! You'll have to gauge how much dough to use by rolling it out and seeing how big a pizza it makes with how big a crust you want. The pizza I made is a thin crust and 14 diameters across. Make sure to flour your rolling pin and just roll the heck out of this dough keeping it circular. Once the dough is rolled out either move it to a cornmeal-dusted pizza pan with your hands or a cornmeal-dusted pizza peel. Spread the dough out a little with your fingers and build your crust if you want one. Drizzle oil or sauce over the dough and add your cheese and toppings. As an extra little surprise I like to sprinkle some raw sugar on the crust.
Once the oven is preheated place the pizza pan on the middle rack or gently shake the pizza off your pizza peel. I would test this beforehand to make sure the dough slides off easily. Some sauce might've spilled over and you'll need to add a little flour to the 'infected' area before continuing. Bake pizza for 8 minutes and enjoy!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Article: Why I went vegetarian

Going vegetarian was a lot easier than I first thought it would be. Like most American families my dinners consisted of a vegetable, side dish (usually white rice) and meat. Altogether, it wasn't unhealthy since my mom is a great cook and made sure us kids had our veggies before dessert. However, when she went vegetarian it changed our household and, almost a year later, it changed me. My mom recommended a book, “Skinny Bitch” by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, to read if I was curious about the origins of meat and the health disadvantages. Health has always been important for me and so I read it. It took me a few days to read the entire book and about halfway through I declared my vegetarian status. My imagination has always been vivid and the wonderful imagery the authors incorporate in this book was more than enough to make me want to hurl up my guts just thinking about a link of sausage or a flank of streak. I have been vegetarian since August 2008 and I don't plan on changing in this lifetime. I am not completely vegan as I do consume dairy when I am out of the house, but when I am home everything I bake is vegan. I have been fortunate to have supportive people in my life to make this lifestyle change easy: My mom for showing me there is great food on the light side, my boyfriend for also adapting to the lifestyle to make grocery shopping easier and to give his stomach some TLC, and my dad who had always teased us veggies but still supported our choice. Thanks Mom for showing me the light side and I hope Dad is enjoying himself there too!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

First Online Article

I have recently started writing articles for an online blog called This Dish is Veg (TDIV). I am super excited for the opportunity to write and be seen through a company I feel strongly about and they also allow me to publish my articles in my blog which is a great perk too! Here is my first article in all its newborn glory:

Guide to Vegan Cheese Substitutes

There are many vegan cheeses out there that can be a tasty contribution to any dish. The type you use will depend on the following situations:

Complement Your Wine I was one of those crazy people who would spend $10-20 on a small wedge of gourmet cheese. Why? Because it was unique and specialized, and above all else it went great with wine. Dr-Cow makes semi-soft nut cheeses that are said to compliment your glass of wine perfectly. I just discovered this brand while browsing for any cheese brands I might not know of for this article. The only downside is ordering the cheese only can be expensive if you don't live close to a Wholefoods Market or one of the few specialty stores. My suggestion: search it out locally first and try the different flavors with some local wines.

The Easiest to Find The blocks of Vegan Gourmet cheese by Follow Your Heart (FYH) is the most common vegan cheese to my knowledge. Wholefoods, local grocery stores and small specialty nutrition stores carry this brand of vegan cheese (at least in Utah). However, the convenience comes at a price. This cheese doesn't melt very well and it leaves a weird aftertaste. I tried doing nachos, casseroles and cheese sticks with the cheddar and mozzarella flavors and none of them turned out satisfactory. There is a nacho flavor that I haven't tried which might work better but so far this isn't my cheese of choice. On a side note, FYH makes yummy sour cream and cream cheese that I just adore!

A Slice for Your Burger Galaxy NutritionalFoods makes the best sliced cheese I know of currently. The vegan American and Mozzarella flavors are a great adornment to your vegan patty over the grill, in the oven or on a skillet. They don't melt per se but they get soft and have a flavorful taste. I found they work best on a skillet or over the grill because the oven tends to dry the slice out before softening it. The burger still tasted good but the look of the cheese was less natural. Galaxy also carries block cheese but I haven't tried yet. Their brand is pretty common at Wholefoods and local grocery stores in Utah but I suggest searching your location on their site first before starting your cheese quest.

Spread it on Thick Vegan spreads and dips are areas I haven't experimented with a lot. However, a brand called Wayfare seems to be the place to go with their hickory-smoked cheddar spread and mexi-cheddar dip. This is a harder-to-find brand so search your location before questing or order online at their website.

On Top of Mt. Cheesy Lasagna never looked the same without parmesan so I discovered Galaxy Foods vegan parmesan topping. It is a good topping for pasta, salads etc but the flavor lacks anything special. Then I discovered nutritional yeast and that bottle of parmesan hasn't been touched. Nutritional yeast is a yellow powder of goodness that has a unique smell and a cheesy flavor. It is a great topping on practically everything and is healthy for you too! I think every wholefoods market carries it in their bulk section and in prepackaged containers.

Melt in Your Mouth This is my absolute favorite thing about cheese: gooey, stringy, and melty! There is only one cheese I know that shows these crucial elements with flare: Daiya. This brand has won numerous awards including 2010 Best Vegan Cheese Award by VegNews magazine. They are based out of Vancouver, B.C. (darn those amazing Canadians!) and their product comes in shreds: cheddar, mozzarella, and pepperjack, and newly introduced wedges: cheddar, jack, and jalapeƱo garlic havarti. The shreds are amazing on everything period. I had them on nachos, burgers, burritos, tacos and pretty much anything else you can put cheese on. The wedges are fairly new so I haven't had a chance to try them out but the flavors sound great and the company hasn't let me down yet! My mom directed me to a site called The Vegan Zombie where this hilarious man makes amazing recipes (with videos to boot!) and he uses a lot of different cheeses. I suggest the cheese sticks if you want a taste of Daiya awesomeness with some marinara!

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Platonic Love

I don't love you for your
beauty, though you are
quite lovely.

I didn't marry you for your
status, though you may
out rank me.

Your money? I don't need
it. Your flaws? My lady,
I see none.

My dear, I love you for
the unseen, the unheard,
the unknown.

Your mind! Oh your thoughts!
My warrior you put me
on edge!

Your snappy wit, quick brain,
brilliant words. Your bursting
imagination excites my mind!

My beloved, keep talking, continue
thinking, never cease to be,
because, that is why I love you.

(I wrote this after reading Shakespeare's "Othello" and witnessing the relationship between Othello and Desdemona)

Attraction of a Deadly Nature

The antidote to this poison
is the one who poisoned me.
A sweet smell lured me to him
and I tasted his words. I am infected.

It burns, coursing through
my body, flowering in my soul.
I must return to him to continue
living, my deadly cure.

The Wait to Live is Over

The figure plaguing my mind
is here. At last, she has
come for me.

Long, thin nails trace the
deep crevices of my face,
along my neck,

Her black, hideous beauty
and spirit invades me.
My breath becomes hers,

My heart fails at her touch,
my body no longer exists.
I am away,

Following her retched, lovely
scent like a beast. She stops.
I wait for it. For her.

She attacks me. Her body grinds
against my soul.
It is so warm...

Heat blazes my consciousness,
ignites it and charring it raw. She
hugs me close. At last,
Death has claimed me.

(I have always thought of Death as a beautiful woman. The narrator is an older man)

Stomach Cleaning

Take that cancerous rod
from your mouth. It is polluting
the air, it disgusts me and your
breath is grotesque, your mouth
is sour and putrid. I hurl up
my guts to cleanse it.

(The phrase 'cancerous stick' struck my mind after seeing an attractive man pull out a cigarette and got changed to 'rod' later on following the rest of the poem)

Let Me Be

I just want to be,
as the flower is a flower
and a tree is a tree
I want to relish my sexuality.

Let me be my body
Let me be my soul
Let me voice my thoughts
Let me think my words

Do not look down your nose
if I revel in my scent.
Do not make a face
If I am dressed unlike you.

I pity you who are ashamed,
and cover your skin in
artificial smells, who constrict
your bodies in harsh clothes.

I want my body to flow,
to burst out like a gush of water.
I want to be high on my aroma,
to drink it like a bold red wine.

So please, shut your mouth,
go cry your fears to someone else,
I just want to lie here in my robe
and, be.

(Being different is what makes everyone special and unique. So why is it so hard to do it without being ridiculed?)

Writer's Block

Sludge is more active than I
am, as hardened clay is too.
Marble are my limbs, my chest
is leaden and dull. This bench is
hard, blood oozes down my temple
from the hole, they drilled,
in my brain.

(I'll be honest I don't know where this poem came from or what crevice of my dark little mind it crawled out, but here it is. The title was an off-the-cuff suggestion from my boyfriend Jeremy and it stuck)

The Queen's Exile

Madness plagues my heart,
The maw opens and devours me whole,
My breast is silent, my mind turned numb
The blood froze tonight, the beating ceased.

The finale, a kiss, yes two.
Frigid is my body and lonely I am
My mind cries for your thoughts
My eyes bleed for your sight
My body convulses and stretches for your touch.

Fire ruptures my heart, nerves burst,
muscles collapse, bones splintering,
skin rips, liquid gushes out
in streams. I scream and die alone.

At its zenith, my sad sun fell
oh my lion-hearted Richard
Take up arms, save your soul
For I am lost without you!

(Read Shakespeare's "Richard the Second" and you will know this is the Queen's lament. Exile is the worse affliction to happen to a human. I wrote this poem in instances of exile)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Shakespeare Class

This last semester I had the immense pleasure of taking a Shakespeare class taught by Ron Deeter. If anyone has a chance to take a class from this man please do it and have an open mind. You won't be disappointed. Also, read this play and then read it another 3 or 4 times for good measure. Do not look for meaning because there is none and do not look for happiness because you wil not find it.

Sam Edwards
English 3500
April 19, 2012
King Lear Paper

Affliction, Thou art a Heartless Wench

In Shakespeare’s play “King Lear” affliction is the name of the game. Once you say something it sets a limitation, and this action is what starts Lear's suffering throughout the play. In the first act he poses a question to his daughters asking, “Which of you shall we say doth love us most...”. Lear seems to have his own answer in mind but he wants to hear one of his daughters say it. No one can read another person's mind but Goneril and Regan both try to say sugary and supposedly heart-warming things to Lear to make him soften to them. Lear's ego loves hearing Goneril say, “Sir, I love you more than words can wield the matter...A love that makes breath poor and speech unable”. He wants to hear these big words and affections because that is what he asked for. By asking who loves him most put a limitation on what can be done and instead only diction of love and uppermost endearment is accepted.
Lear eats these words up because he deems them to be true, however Cordelia shakes his core and his rage is let loose when she has nothing to say. She speaks complete truth but it is not the sweet syntax Lear wants, though it is a mighty declaration of love. She says, “I cannot heave my heart into my mouth. I love Your Majesty according to my bond, no more nor less”. She loves him so much there are no words to describe it and she cannot hurl up her heart to show him the love. She loves him as much as he has loved her according to their bond as daughter and father. Cordelia does not expect him to love her more than what their bond calls for, and therefore she does not love him any more than the amount a daughter should love her father. However, with the high horse Lear is on right now from the previous daughters words he cannot comprehend Cordelia's real meaning and goes into a rage. He does the most hurtful thing to them both by banishing Cordelia saying, “Hence, and avoid/ my sight!” The same fate comes to Kent as he tries to reason with Lear but he only wounds Lear's ego more by saying, “Think'st thou that duty shall have dread to speak/ when power to flattery bows?/ To plainness honor's bound/ When majesty falls to folly.” Kent is only trying to caution Lear about not falling prey to the flatterer's as King Richard II did at one time and to see the truth in plainness. This play touches on many afflictions that Lear suffers and lack of sight is one of them along with his ill health. To banish his most loving daughter and Kent from his sight is the worst affliction to be set on a person.
His deteriorating health is not helped when he learns of Kent being put in the stocks. In Act 2 scene 4 he says, “Oh, how this mother swells up toward my heart! Hysterica passio, down, thou climbing sorrow!” This is the first instance of him having physical problems. His heart is swelling and it's causing him to suffocate from the hysteria going on.
       Lear's visit to Goneril doesn't help either thanks to Oswald. Her steward Oswald says a scathing insult in Act 1 scene 4 by referring to Lear as “My lady's father.” Oswald is treating Lear like he's a pheasant man pretty much and Lear is infuriated. The Fool then enters and though he is trying to console Lear his words only make matters worst when he sings to Lear about him being a Fool now for giving up his lands. Lear asks, “Dost thou call me fool, boy?” And the Fool responds “All thy other titles thou hast given away; that/ thou wast born with.” The Fool hits the nail of the head with this statement because Lear has given away everything. He has no kingdom and now his daughters are treating him like they are the King and he their son.  This concept is put nicely by the Fool when he says, “nuncle, e'er since thou mad'st thy/ daughters thy mothers; for when thou gav'st them the/ rod and putt'st down thine own breeches.” This makes me laugh so hard because his daughters did exactly that to him. Now Lear has no staff of power and his pants are down because his daughters, who are now his ruling mothers, have his balls in their hand and control him.
Lear is betrayed by his daughter Goneril but he hides his pain by cursing her. His rage is immense and he lashes out in words and temper. Why can't people just accept their pain as it is instead of covering it up? It doesn't go away like we think it does. People must face the pain and feelings that come from experiences to fully accept that situation and are then able to move on. Lear cannot accept his situation and the affliction that is ruling him and so he moves on to Regan who also disappoints him. In Act 2 scene 4 Lear is being put off by Regan and Cornwall and we get more signs of physical pain when Lear cries “Oh, me, my heart, my rising heart! But down!” His heart is under pressure and it is slowly expanding in his chest. This eventually leads to a heart attack that can be fatal if untreated. Lear ignores his pain again and instead explodes with verbal insults at Regan as he witnesses her teaming up with Goneril. They want to strip him of his train and leave him defenseless and alone. They want all his power so they can carry out the plan with Edgar later on but Lear won't hear it.
In Act 3 scene 2 Lear, the Fool and Kent come upon the hovel and Lear is at his wits end. He is discovering that the cosmos must be dead or else why would all this be happening to him? He claims he is “a man/ More sinned against than sinning.” If this were the case than things that happen on Earth are not happening in Heaven and visa versa and so the cosmos are dying. I wish Lear would have listened to Kent when he says, “Man's nature cannot carry/ Th'affliction nor the fear.” If Lear could just face his affliction and ultimately his fear, because the fear is only a symptom of the affliction, then maybe Lear could calm down and his heart wouldn't be under stress. However this play isn't meant to have happy times in it. Even if Lear had listened to Kent things would still be bad since the cosmos are dead.
Lear's sanity is about gone when he meets Poor Tom. Lear sees this dirty beggar as a “philosopher” and “learned Theban”. He will not leave Poor Tom even when shelter is offered by Gloucester and so Poor Tom is given shelter as well. Lear does not leave him and talks to him in private for a long time. By Act 4 scene 6 King Lear has gone mad it seems. He talks nonsense to Edgar and Gloucester like Poor Tom had talked to him at the beginning. However he states a miraculous thing by saying “A man may see how this world goes with not eyes. Look with thine ears.” If only he had had this knowledge at the beginning! He should have listened more closely to Cordelia instead of being transfixed by the sight of the lovely and sugar-coated older daughters. Even in this state of madness Lear has learned to see properly though his mind has still be afflicted by other matters.
The culmination of his affliction comes at the end when Cordelia lays dead in his arms. In Act 5 scene 3 he claims that if “this feather stirs; she lives! If it be so,/ It is a chance which does redeem all sorrows/ That ever I have felt.” To be reunited with the one person who loves you and you love in return and to be in each others sight once more could have cured Lear of some of the symptoms to his affliction. It is sad that he realizes his love for Cordelia too late as she is already dead. Before his heart finally bursts he realizes that the cosmos are indeed dead because how could anything live after the death of Cordelia? Why didn't something happen after her death? “Why should a dog, a horse, a rat have life,/ and thou no breath at all?” We all want something to happen when our loved ones die but the truth is our affliction does not care about us. It does not care about anything.