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Character Similarity In Shakespeare's King Lear

1676 words - 7 pages

There are billions of people in the entire world, however, chances such as certain individual shares the same personality, height, or hobbies of other people who live in the opposite extreme of the globe is ultimately bizarre. In a similar idea, a William Shakespeare’s play, entitled King Lear demonstrates the similarities of people, particularly through the work of relativeness that runs in blood. The play revolves around King Lear and his three daughters, along with a parallel sub-plot of Gloucester and his two sons. Mainly, Lear banishes and disowns Cordelia, one of his daughters, and grants the other two, Goneril and Regan with his inheritance and power. But unfortunately, Goneril and Regan eventually betrays Lear, whereas Cordelia comes back to save him. Also, the play corresponds to a well-known phrase, “like father, like daughter”, which genuinely refers to Lear and his daughters. Altogether, King Lear’s existence as a father projects distinguishable affinities between his and the lives of his daughters. The father and daughters’ similarities vary solely depending on how the characters exhibit their actions through their own will.
First of all, Goneril is the eldest and “one of the villainous daughters of King Lear” (Boyce), as she declares her great love for Lear in exchange to a portion of her father’s kingdom. Throughout the play, Lear and Goneril are seen alike by means of the motif of blindness that links them together as a father and daughter. Primarily, Goneril is not literally blind and so does Lear, yet they are blinded by the illusions that flow in their minds. Goneril is blinded over the power and inheritance that Lear gives her and still not contented by plotting against Lear by saying, “Pray you let’s hit together. If our/ father carry authority with such disposition as he bears,/ this last surrender of his will but offend us.” (1.1.304-305). It simply reveals that she wants him to end up with nothing as it also represents her epic obsession with power to the extent that it is blinding her from reality. Similarly, Lear is blinded as well by the speech that Goneril conducts during his love contest, which is a pathway towards inheritance. As an outcome, Lear bestows Goneril:
Of all these bounds, even from this line to this,
With shadowy forests and with champaigns riched,
With plenteous rivers and wide-skirted meads,
We make thee lady. (1.1.64-68)
According to Halio, “careful analysis shows how unnatural, hyperbolical and hypocritical the protestations of Goneril and Regan are. Although Cordelia and Kent see them for what they are, Lear does not.” (Halio 812). Everyone around Lear sees the true nature and motives of Goneril, except himself which eventually leads to his own downfall. Moreover, Lear and Goneril loss their sanities in progression of the play due to phenomenon occurs in their lives. After Goneril inherits her share of the kingdom, Lear decides to stay with her; however, Goneril believes that due to Lear’s...

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