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King Lears Sins
and Regan as villains? Sir, I love you more than words can wield the matter, Dearer than eyesight, space, and liberty, Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare, No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, honour; As much as child e'er lov'd, or father found; A love. The elderly king looks to Regan for sympathy, but receives none. Regan insists that Kent should stay in the stocks all night, rather than just until noon, censorship in arts as Cornwall originally intends. Kahn, Coppelia, The Absent Mother in King Lear, in Rewriting the Renaissance: The Discourses of Sexual Difference,. On one level he is admitting that this is his identity and he does not care what anyone thinks, but I do think he is damaged.
What does Lear do in response? There is no doubt that his pernicious daughters are only a part of the forces of evil that align themselves against the foolish former king.
It is not surprising then when we discover later that Lears reign as king has shown little consideration for the poorest members of his kingdom. Cordelia, unable and unwilling to submit herself to the ridiculous game of her father, is sent off to France with his curses. Cornwall in particular proves himself to be a shockingly vicious and cruel individual; and these traits really come to the fore once he gets his hands on the levers of power.
He did promise to give up power, after all. The other aspect of Lears personality that gives a sense of a man who is guilty of considerable sinning is his overwhelming arrogance. Yet the audience is always aware of Edmunds potential for evil. King Lear is, at the William Shakespeares Biography its heart, a play about the relationships between two powerful men King Lear and the Earl of Gloucester and their ungrateful children. A Marxist interpretation of Edmund would focus on the injustice of the laws of inheritance, and might also see his Machiavellian scheming as reflecting the fact that Edmund has only himself to rely. He is desperately foolish to place his trust (and his country) in his pelican daughters but the price he pays for this mistake is a disproportionately heavy one.
King Lears question, why? Regans insistence on barring the gates of Gloucesters castle, meanwhile, ensures that Lear is shut out on the heath in the storm leading to the central scenes in which he rages at the elements and gains a new perspective on human existence. When Lear does not get what he wants he explodes with childlike rage, casting his daughters in the role of his long-dead mother. They seem to almost compete with each other to see who can humiliate him the most, culminating in Regans instruction that the servants in Gloucesters castle should shut up your doors leaving their poor father out in the storm at the mercy of the elements.