The Absent Mother In King Lear Analysis

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Khan’s essay, The Absent Mother in King Lear, delved into the history, reasoning, and psychology of family hierarchy, the role of women, and the contrast between men and women through the eyes of society. Khan introduces two points in her essay that correlate with the well known HBO TV show Game of Thrones, a tv show that is based on the bestselling series Game of Thrones. The first point of connection is the idea of women having worth to a family structure only through being a sexual partner and having children. Meaning that women really weren’t supposed to be anything more than an object through which children, most importantly male children, came into the world. It also implies that if a woman fails to have children or to have male children …show more content…
The distinction being the antipathy men have towards womanly tears as a result of their fear of having the same erratic emotions. Thus there is a separation between the two, womanly tears equal hysterical emotions and manipulation whereas men don’t cry at all. If they do, then they react in an aggressive way to prove that they have aren 't weak like they perceive women to be. Yet Khan also states that while Lear accepts his tears as weakness and acts with aggression to override that weakness, Cordelia sees her tears not as weakness but as the source of her power. This characteristic is seen in the way Prince Joffrey perceives the “feminine” weakness of tears and the way Sansa Stark and his mother Queen Cersei use that so called weakness and turn it into a power. Game of Thrones can be used to support many of Khan’s points in The Absent Mother in King Lear but the two argument that are best supported by the society that makes up the mystical land of Westeros are the roles that women are expected to play and the way in which weakness and tears are defined and separated between …show more content…
Sansa, though, is not blindly in love especially after Joffrey has her beloved wolf killed because he couldn’t kill Sansa’s sister’s wolf. Sansa knows that Joffrey is volatile and is often times cruel without prejudice. At one point in the middle of the first season Sansa questions her nurse on what will happen to her if she fails to produce male heirs and the nurse in turn replies that it of course won’t happen. The very real fear that many women throughout ages, even mythical ages like Westeros, have felt is exhibited in Sansa’s question. The fear of what will happen if Sansa fails to do the most important and arguably the only job she is meant to do. If she does fail it is clear that she is no longer of any worth and if Sansa has no worth then there is nothing to stop Joffrey and/or Cersei from disposing of her to make way for someone more “suitable”. This idea that a woman can actively decide to have male children the same way one decides to go into to work or not is ingrained into Game of Thrones and ties back to Kahn’s essay on what women are expected to do for the perpetuation of the patriarchy. Throughout history and in the mythical land of Westeros the only crucial job expected of women was having children and more importantly male children. A failure to do this job was like failing to

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