Power's Destruction: King Lear

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King Lear by Shakespeare portrayed the negative effects of power resulting in destruction caused by the children of a figure with authority. Through lies and continual hatred, characters maintained a greed for power causing destruction within their families. The daughter’s of Lear and the son Gloucester lied to inherit power for themselves. Edmund the son of Gloucester planned to eliminate his brother Edgar from his inheritance.
Edmund lusted for all of his father’s power, lying to his gullible brother and father aided him in his plan for total authority along with destroying their lives. As bastard son of Gloucester, Edmund wanted to receive all of the power destined for his brother, Edgar, who was Gloucester’s legitimate son. Edmund stated his disapproval of his brother, “Wherefore should I/ Stand in the plague of custom, and permit/ The curiosity of nations to deprive me/ For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines/ Lag of a brother? Why bastard?”(1.2.2-6). Edmund wanted the respect and love that Edgar received even though he was Gloucester’s bastard son. He claimed that he was not much younger or “moonshines lag of a brother” therefore he should be considered just as smart and able-minded as any legitimate son. He built up hatred toward Edgar and in order to get rid of him he convinced his father that Edgar had betrayed him through a letter. The letter that Edmund made read, “If our father would sleep till I waked him, you/ should enjoy half his revenue for ever, and live/ the beloved of your brother, Edgar”(1.2.55-57). Edmund portrayed Edgar as the son that would kill Gloucester only to inherit his money and share his inheritance with Edmund. Gloucester believed Edmund, sending out guards to kill Edgar for his betrayal...

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...caused Lear to curse Goneril and Regan for not caring for him but for ruining his life. Goneril and Regan selfishness for power overwhelmed them leading to their lies of their love for their father and his power would never be returned so they could inherit all of his power.
Hatred and desire fueled Goneril, Regan, and Edmund to lie in order to obtain their parents’ power leading to destruction within their family. Edmund’s hatred was continued by the reminder that he was only the bastard son of Gloucester driving him to lie to both of them ultimately ruining his father’s eyesight and his brother’s identity. Goneril and Regan got rid of their father while retained his power by lying about who loved him the most and took away his knights. From King Lear, Shakespeare concluded that greed and power are capable of ruining a family.

Works Cited

shakespeare, King Lear
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