King Lear And Gloucester Character Analysis

Improved Essays
In life some people are born into high status filled with luxury and other advantages, but it is up to them to maintain their power during difficult situations. In Shakespeare’s King Lear, Shakespeare has created Lear and Gloucester’s character based on the concept of nothing. Both Lear and Gloucester experience being on the top with power politically, physically, emotionally, and familially, then they hit rock bottom evening them out to nothing. Politically, Lear and Gloucester start off powerful then become powerless. Emotionally, Lear and Gloucester are full of themselves then they lose themselves completely. Physically, Lear and Gloucester project the image of very wealthy men, and then they have no image at all. Familially, Lear and Gloucester …show more content…
Emotionally Lear is very rash, uncontrolled, and full of hubris. When Lear banished Kent he reached for his sword to attack Kent, showing that Lear cannot control his anger and range. Lear had already divided his land for his daughters but decided that he would still have a love trial to hear how much they love him, showing that Lear is full of hubris. Lear is rash because he expected his daughters to express their love to him in enormous portions compared to how much they actually love him, so when Cordelia does not meet his expectations he banished her reducing her power to nothing. When Lear gets banished from Gloucester’s castle he descended into madness because he removed all of his clothes off and had conversations with the mad man “How dost, my boy? Art cold? I am cold myself. Where is this straw my fellow? The art of our necessities is strange” (III. Ii. 68-70). This point summarizes that Lear emotionally started as a very arrogant and unruly character then he loses his mind and becomes crazy. Emotionally Gloucester is full of hubris then he loses the will to live. Gloucester is full of hubris like Lear because after years of neglect, he finally decides to acknowledge Edmund as his son and expects Edmund to just accept him as a father with no feelings of betrayal. That is why when Gloucester was held prisoner he was calling for Edmund “All dark and …show more content…
Lear banishes his trust worthy family and trusts his deceiving family, and then he ends up with no family at all. Lear is king he has three daughters and loyal right hand man Kent and his own kingdom that he rules over. During the love trial Cordelia does not express her love toward Lear in an exaggerating manner like Regan and Goneril so Lear banishes her. When Kent tries to explain the rashness in his decision, Lear banishes Kent as well. Lear put his trust towards Goneril and Regan to rule his kingdom and to take care of him. Instead they end up rejecting Lear by convincing him to give up all his knights then they banish him from Gloucester’s castle sending Lear into the storm with nowhere to go. Regan says “Tis they have put him on the old man’s death, To have th’expense and waste of his revenues” (II. i. 98-99) thus it shows that their intentions are only for Lear’s fortune. By the end of the play Goneril and Regan competed for Lear’s fortune to the death and Cordelia’s life is taking right before Lear’s eyes. Leaving Lear with no family at all. In short, Lear has a family who supports him but after he gives up his title as king he lost his family, thus ending up with nothing. Gloucester has two sons but when he finally acknowledges one after a lifetime of disowning he ends up with nothing. Gloucester has

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    His first foolish decision comes from the fact that he wishes to give away his kingdom. “Lear’s plan to divide his country and retire indicates that his judgement is flawed”4 as “to Shakespeare’s audience, such an announcement – dividing up the country – would have been horrifying, a vivisection of the body politic, a violation of cosmic order, denial of primogeniture, and a certain prelude to civil war. ”5 For Lear to make such a decision clearly shows how foolish he is becoming by his desire to “[abdicate] his responsibility as king, choosing personal comfort over public duty. ”6 Beyond this, Lear’s foolishness is also demonstrated in his decision to banish Kent and his most loving daughter.…

    • 1401 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Complex characters such as Norma Desmond and King Lear are often used to display the effect people have on other’s realities and beliefs. In Sunset Boulevard by Billy Wilder and King Lear by William Shakespeare, complex characters are used to demonstrate how permissive relationships can create the false reality and ultimate madness one may endure. In Sunset Boulevard, Norma Desmond experiences a sheltered life that leads to a state of insanity. While much of this insanity comes from her own state of mind, her butler, Max, is the main enabler of her aberration from society.…

    • 1086 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    King No Longer 1. Kent has returned to England because his loyalty towards King Lear surpasses his banishment. Kent has King Lear’s best interests in mind and does not trust Lear’s decision of allotting his kingdom to Goneril and Regan. Kent’s goal is to provide counsel to Lear and ensure Lear does not make any rash decisions. Kent’s devotion to Lear is evidenced when Kent states, Lear accepts the stranger for his flattering comments, talents, and honesty.…

    • 462 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Not Like Father Not Like Daughter: An Analysis of Shakespeare’s “King Lear” William Shakespeare is the father of playwriting and is one of the most famous people in English Literature. He was known to break and create boundaries; such as in his other works Romeo and Juliet, he exposed the monarchy and explains that love has no bounds. One must understand the historical background of William Shakespeare’s play “King Lear”, to comprehend King Lear and Cordelia reversed roles as parent and child. Shakespeare wrote “King Lear” about a father who divided his kingdom among his three daughters based on who “loved” him the most.…

    • 1550 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Pride In King Lear Essay

    • 444 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Lear orders Cordelia and Kent to leave as a result of their rightful approach to his egotistical manner: “Out of my sight!” (1.1.179). Which is then followed by Kent’s sound counsel in advising Lear to “See better” (1.1.180). Again, Kent is implying that Lear is blind in his judgment which perfectly carries on into his gradual journey into insanity: he becomes mentally blind and unable to tell the difference between reality and fantasy. Gloucester undergoes a similar path, and is unable to to accurately judge his sons, and eventually does not even recognize the disguised Edgar.…

    • 444 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Power is the ability to manipulate and control what one desires; it is convincing someone to do something without asking authority, but it also has a positive connotation with favourable characteristics to support it. Shakespeare uses these characteristics to contrast between the moral and the corrupt. However in “King Lear” there is a prominent aspect of power that corrupts the characters foreshadowing their death. Goneril and Regan are corrupted by the power given by their father Lear and their sexual desire for Edmund. Edmund is corrupted by a greed to be more dominant then Edgar and Gloucester.…

    • 1036 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    King Lear is played by his own two daughters who plot against him secretly. Gloucester A loyal man to King Lear also has several injustices done to him by his son Edmund. Edmund has a plan to ruin his fathers reputation inheriting his land and power. The driving force of this play is injustice. This leads to the development of the tragic tone of the play and identity of the characters.…

    • 1067 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The theme of appearance versus reality is reoccurring throughout the play of King Lear by William Shakespeare. There is an evident contrast between reality as opposed to appearance. Reality is the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to appearance to be an idealistic or notional idea of them. Appearance is an imagination, while reality is an actual existence. In King Lear there are many characters that appear to be, what in reality, they are not.…

    • 862 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Rejected by his daughters, Lear slowly descends into insanity. Plots and counterplots are exchanged, and by the end of the play Goneril kills both Regan and herself, their scheming leads to Cordelia’s murder, and Lear dies of grief over Cordelia’s death. For me the heart of this play is the disintegration of Lear’s family, and the developing antagonism between Lear and his elder daughters. What fascinates me is the animalistic brutality of these familial relationships, which have degenerated to such a point that Goneril and Regan are willing to murder each other, Cordelia, and their father.…

    • 1365 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    King Lear Chaos Analysis

    • 1282 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Chaos is a central theme in Shakespeare’s King Lear. The devastating cruelty and chaotic events that surround King Lear throughout the story are consequences of his obsession with authority. His spiraling fall was initialized by his obsession with authority in his personal and political life. It is only until King Lear endures a literal, and symbolic, storm, does he have some realizations that lead him to release his negative values and mature in hopes to turn around his chaotic disarranged life. The height of the chaotic reign over his life is depicted in Act IV.…

    • 1282 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Lear retiring and not having control over anything anymore has made him go a little mad. His madness is directly related to his family and “in Shakespeare 's time the insane [the people who go mad] were taken care of at home by their families” (Bennett 142). His family was not willing to house him and that played a role in his madness when he goes off into the storm. Lear obviously cannot have a home if neither of his two daughters are willing to take him in and care for him. A critic describes Lear “…in a state of chaos, and a hovel cannot replace a home that would withstand the storm raging both inside his mind and outside” (Yang 74).…

    • 1285 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    King Lear William Shakespeare’s King Lear has many characters that are that are driven by their wants and desires. That drive can either make them or break them. One character in particular is broken by his drive to become powerful and gain recognition. Edmund, the illegitimate son of Gloucester, has always been overshadowed by the fact that he was born out of wedlock and his brother, Edgar, was not. That prevented Edmund from not getting certain things like becoming king like his brother could achieve.…

    • 672 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Shakespeare stresses the importance of self-knowledge, Lear was once blind and believed his eldest daughters truly loved him. Lear banished Cordelia, but through a new regained self-knowledge, he is willing to heal that relationship. The relationship he had with Cordelia was real, and if gained again, Lear would also gain new hope. Lear would gain hope that he is capable of being loved. In Tragedy in ‘King Lear’, William Tamblyn states that “At any rate, we must be convinced that Lear is ‘more sinned against than sinning’ even at that stage of the story where he makes this assertion, and what shall be said of his cruel bereavement after reunion with Cordelia?…

    • 1441 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Self-knowledge or “understanding of oneself, one 's character, abilities or, motives” is seen in Shakespeare’s King Lear (dictionary.com). Both King Lear and Gloucester place their trust in the wrong child, and it ultimately leads to their downfall. Both Cordelia who is the daughter of King Lear, and Kent who is a nobleman under Gloucester remain true to themselves and retain self-knowledge. Cordelia and Kent continuously speak the truth and fight to remain honest and loyal even though it bodes serious consequences for them and their companions. Cordelia is a voice of reason to father King Lear, and her sisters Regan and Goniril.…

    • 1164 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    King Lear Subplot Essay

    • 812 Words
    • 4 Pages

    In the rivetingly tragic play "King Lear" by Shakespeare, there is a sizable amount of themes that ricochets between the subplot and main plot. In an attempt to universalize the travesties endured by the protagonist and tragic hero, Shakespeare incorporates a significant subplot into King Lear. Although the focus clearly lies on the tragic plight of King Lear, the secondary plot involving Gloucester and his offspring mirrors and dramatizes Lear's hopeless situation. Both Lear and Gloucester misjudge their offspring and respond rashly to inaccurate information; the subsequent rejection of those closest to them leads to a chaotic sequence of irreversible events. The characters that purposefully instigate the inevitable downfall of both Lear and…

    • 812 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays