Importance of the Parallel Plot in King Lear
Literature can be expressed using many different techniques and
styles of writing, some very effective and others not as much. One of the
methods chosen by many is the use of so called "parallel" plots.
"Parallel" plots, or sometimes referred to as minor, give the opportunity
of experiencing a secondary storyline going along with the main plot that
otherwise would be unmentioned. William Shakespeare shows excellent use of
a parallel plot in his play "King Lear", but some question it's
essentiality by asking: Is it really necessary? Does it help the story or
does it degrade it? Is the Gloucester's plot really needed? Many argue
that it is very important and others say it is completely useless. This
essay will try to prove that the parallel plot used in "King Lear" is
needed and it adds to overall value of the play.
Like any other kind of literature "King Lear" contains many themes;
one of which is the "parent-child relationship" conflict. Relationship
problems are very common, not only in novels but also in everyday life.
Lear starts the entire dilemma of hate and destruction by his foolish
desire for flattery. He divides his kingdom between two of his daughters
and the never ending crave for power and wealth begins. As we can assume
from the play's title, Lear and his daughters are part of the main plot.
The plot of Gloucester and his sons, is considered parallel.
Gloucester is portrayed also with family problems. He experiences
trouble with his two sons, Edgar and Edmund. This parallel plot that ties
in with the main one sometimes actually comes into unison and characters
interact with each other.
The parallel plot can be taken into account as a "back-up" or
"supporting" one. It proves the point Shakespeare is trying to make in his
main plot. Gloucester's problems can be compared with Lear's and
similarities can be found very easily. Both fathers have serious
difficulties with their children. We can even say that Gloucester's plot
acts as an "echo" since it repeats some of the events which took place
earlier, only it uses different characters and settings.
The theme of craving for power is also found in both plots.
Goneril and Regan can be said to be cold and evil judging from...