King Lear, Thankless Children

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Mini King Lear essay Thankless Children Throughout the tragic play King Lear, written by William Shakespeare, it can constantly be seen that although both King Lear and Gloucester’s weak characteristics in the beginning of the play have an influence on their suffering and tragedy, it can clearly be seen that it is the “thankless children” and the desire for power of Goneril, Regan and Edmund that ultimately contributes to their fathers downfall. The weak characteristics of both King Lear and Gloucester can clearly been seen in the first Act of the play. Gloucester, an ally of King Lear, is embarrassed of his illegitimate son, Edmund, and is inappropriate in constantly using derogatory terms to refer to his son. King Lear on the other hand, through greed, forces his daughters to declare their love for him through words, before he “divests” his rule, kingdom and all his possessions to them. “Which of you shall we say doth love us most” Act 1, Scene 1, Line 52. Through this, both King Lear’s and Gloucester’s rage and rashness can be seen, resulting in them both loosing sight of what is important. Despite this, their weak characteristics have a small influence on their tragedy and suffering. After King Lear bestows all his possessions to his daughters, rather than being grateful, Goneril and Regan’s lust for power causes them to turn on their father. In Act 2, Scene 4, Goneril and Regan diminish his retinue, disregard his authority and Goneril instructs her servants to treat King Lear with the utmost disrespect. But when King Lear recognizes his daughters’ deceit and refers to Goneril as having “Sharp-tooth’d unkindness, like a vulture” Act 2, Scene 4, Line 137, he is cast onto a heath during a tempest. King Lear is left with no where to go and has nothing left after his daughters “divested” him from all his inheritance. This causes Lear to go completely mad
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