The Role Of Women In Shakespeare's King Lear

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Shakespeare 's King Lear is a story of a king who sets out to divide his kingdom among his three daughters, with only Goneril and Regan reaping in his fortune. The family unit becomes torn as conflicts between personalities emerge between King Lear and his three daughters, thus creating a tragic end for many. King Lear 's two eldest daughters, Goneril, and Regan defy the roles and rights of women of the eight-century, displaying behavioral traits that are less desirable. Whereas King Lear 's youngest beloved daughter, Cordelia, embodied the warmth and true spirit of women that one would up most expect during this time period, one who showed loyalty, respect, and honesty, but remained strong and noble (Phillis). William Shakespeare skillfully…show more content…
King Lear 's eldest daughters take on the role as being "the ideal villains" ("Role of Women") who strives to embrace the power of the stronger "sex" from being to end. The deviant siblings only had an appetite for greed and were willing to crush anyone who steps in their way. Goneril is a ‘monster ' through the eyes of her own husband Albany( Lind ) because of her actions towards her father, while her own father compares her to an animal by stating she is nothing more than a "Detested kite" (Shakespeare 1.4.253 ), a vulture who preys on its victims. Her evil behavior and actions speak volume to her role and certainly reinforces Lear 's idea that greed turns people into animals. Lear sees Goneril as being nothing more than an ungratefully child with a beastly attitude (Lind). Shakespeare shows how money and power are usually the root of all evil and can affect a person ethical values and moral judgment. Albany must have been blind by love when he married that witch! As for Lear, a father by blood has no choice but love her and her evil sister. Regan, Lear 's middle child, keenly fulfills the role of a deviant woman by demonstrating a violent nature, "first by plucking poor Gloucester 's eyes out, and then by killing her own servant" (Teach). Due to her…show more content…
While at war with each other for Edmund 's love, jealousy and resentment surface between the two. Goneril plots to murder her own husband and kill her own sister, an act purely driven by greed and lust to win Edmund 's love and have complete control of the kingdom (Lind). Being so power-hungry, Goneril has no conscience, not even for her own flesh and blood. She is willing to fight and win at all cost while basing her theory of life on the "survival of the fittest" concept. Goneril and Regan show superior strength as strong women by being deceitful and cruel towards their father, husbands and finally each other, but their behavior caused everything to happen with dirty intentions, leading to their downfall of power and death (Teach). Shakespeare appears to paints all empowering women as conniving, selfish and evil. Well, "if the shoe fits," Goneril and Regan wear it
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