Greed in King Lear, by William Shakespeare, and Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe

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The play, The Tragedy Of King Lear, by William Shakespeare, and the story, Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe, are very different in various ways, from the way the story was told to how the story was set. Despite how different the stories are there was one connection that particularly stood out to me, being the greed shared by most of the main characters in both stories. Goneril, Regan, and Edmund in King Lear and Robinson Crusoe in his own story, were looking to make their lives better and seek out money and power, despite what it may take. I believe that the main connection of the two stories would be greed and the consequences of it, because in both stories characters acted upon their greed and were punished because of it.
In The Tragedy Of King Lear the theme of greed was prominent, as there were many characters seeking to heighten their status and powers. Goneril, when telling Lear how much she loves him states “I love you more than words can wield the matter; Dearer than eye-sight, space, and liberty” (Shakespeare 7) and Regan trying to out do her sister says “In my true heart I find she names my very deed of love; Only she comes too short: that I profess Myself an enemy to all other joys” (8), both of those statements prove to be false however, as both sisters come together to leave Lear powerless and alone, so that the sisters obtain as much power for themselves as possible, betraying their own father to do so, because of their overwhelming greed. Regan and Goneril’s greed is also shown in how the both want Edmund for themselves and go as far as murder to be with him. Another example of greed portrayed by one of the characters in the story would be Edmunds plans to take his brother Edgar’s inheritance. To secure his spot a...

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...ortunate events. After he makes this realization his life begins going well and he is no longer plagued with, what appears to be, bad luck, as Crusoe’s greed for money and higher status was ultimately, the cause of his misfortunes.
The theme of greed was one heavily set into both The Tragedy Of King Lear and Robinson Crusoe. Both of the stories showed how greed, although one may succeed in satisfying their greed, would be punished. If it were not for the greed of many of the stories characters, none of them would have been had such harsh consequences as death or isolation, showing that greed is something that is to be avoided.

Works Cited

Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe. Raleigh, N.C.: Alex Catalogue, 1999. Print.
Shakespeare, William, Tucker Brooke, and William Lyon Phelps. The tragedy of King Lear. New ed. New Haven: Yale University Press;, 1947. Print.

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