Examining the Villainous Characters of Shakespeare's King Lear Essay

Examining the Villainous Characters of Shakespeare's King Lear Essay

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King Lear by William Shakespeare is one of the ionic plays that depict behavior of mankind as either good or bad. As one of the earliest plays to show cast good vs. evil, King Lear paved the way for other such symbolic plays to written. Goneril, Regan, and Edmund, three of the characters from Shakespeare’s King Lear, are symbols of evil with in human society to its greatest entity. These three are the most highlighted villains in the play. A villain is a bad or evil person, usually the antagonist of the play. Throughout this play one question stands unanswered; who is the most villainous of the three. In order to decide which character is the most villainous, fist each character must be spotlighted.

Goneril is the oldest of Lear’s three daughters. She is also the cruelest and most deceitful one. First she plays with her father’s emotions by telling how much she loves and turns her back on him when he needs her most. He goes to her house seek shelter and 100 attendants, and she tells him, “you are old and reverend.” (Act. 1, Sc. 4, ll. 207) Goneril then becomes involved with Edmund and plots to murder her husband with him. When Goneril finds out about her Regan and Edmund’s relationship, she poisons her sister then poisons herself. Goneril’s entire story pretty much consists of tragic, villainous and unforgivable behavior.

Regan is the middle daughter of Lear’s three daughters. She is considered to be the lesser evil of her older sister Goneril. Regan is a villain because of the way she treats her father and her marriage. After Goneril kicks their father out of her house, he goes to Regan’s house and she tells him, “You should be ruled.” (Act.2, Sc. 4, ll. 145) She has no respect for her father what so ever. She makes this...

... middle of paper ...

...d over all evil form head to toe.

Over the course of this play, the word villain was brought to the fore front. The theme of blindness of human society helps to closer examine the villainous conscience with in everyone. It is safe to say that evil exists inside everyone. It something really strong to cause that evil to come out, and as displayed in this play finding something to makes your inner self to come out is not very hard. The three with in this play, Edmund, Regan and Goneril, all at one time or another have displays how truly villainous they can get. Although they all died tragically at the end, their transformation throughout the play brings the play to life. If there were no villains in this play, it would be absolutely hard to bear.

Reference Page
King Lear
William Shakespeare
Dover Publications, Inc.
New York

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