Control and Power in King Lear

Control and Power in King Lear

King Lear, said to be one of Shakespeare most powerful tragedies, is set upon a king who becomes blind to situations that lead him to the betrayal of two of his daughters, jealousy, and ultimately: death. At the time of the play being written, Shakespeare put situations among real people into perspective of this play. An event in which a man called Sir Brian Annesly has the eldest of his three daughters claims him to be insane, so that she could take and keep his wealth. Another event being that of William Allen, the mayor of London who’s daughter turned on him after he shared his wealth. This kind of cruelty of paralleled in the characters Regan, and Goneriel, and in some aspects of Edmund. These characters throughout the play, show thirst for power and control. Another aspect which is deeply studied is the influence of female sexuality in general on the play. Ian Johnston of Malaspina University wrote about this in detail. Sibling rivalry is an important theme of the play. The sisters Goneriel and Regan both plot against their own father (Lear, and his blind vulnerability to take advantage and seize the power and wealth he obtains. When blindly dividing the kingdom between the two daughters, they slowly and psychologically lead him to banishment from their newly-owned kingdom. This kind of sibling rivalry can also be seen in Edmund and Edgar. Edgar’s immediate position as the legitimate son of Gloucester makes Edmund bitterly jealous, and determines him to rise above them. The plot Edmund made against his brother caused the two to swap positions, and lead to Gloucester’s eyes being plucked out. This again, parallels the blindness seen in both of the fathers in the play. In most of his plays Shakespeare shows the relationship between father and daughter in the absence of a mother. This tends to make his plays more interesting, due to the fact that a mother would share decisions with the father over their children. Also a mother …


Comments are closed.