• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explore the ways in which Shakespeare presents the characters Goneril Regan and Cordilia in "King Lear".

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

KING LEAR COURSE WORK ROCCHINA MILIZIA 1ST DRAFT Explore the ways in which Shakespeare presents the characters Goneril Regan and Cordilia in "King Lear" Shakespeare's presentation of Lear's three daughters in the play "King Lear" is both interesting and highly effective. Goneril and Regan are the two wicked sisters being both hypocritical and evil in their plot to gradually destroy their father. Cordilia however is presented as the complete opposite proving to be honest and respectful and shows that she is the one that holds true love for her father. The play begins with Lear about to divide and give up to his daughters his kingdom. Crucially Lear wishes to be told how much his daughters love him before he divests his rule, kingdom and cares of state. 'Tell me my daughters ......which of you shall we say doth love us most, that we, our largest bounty may extend'. It is here that when we hear each daughters reply that we get the first insight into each complex character. Goneril the eldest is to speak first, she replies 'Sir, I love you more than words can wield the matter'. ...read more.

Middle

This all contributes to the wickedness that Goneril and Regan are rapidly being shrouded in. Deliberately using Lear's weakness to their advantage. Lear measures his personal worth in terms of his belongings. Shakespeare makes sure that Goneril and Regan are presented as heartless and vindictive as possible in this scene, when Lear enraged runs off they lock him out of the castle to teach him a lesson. This shows that they have no feeling of compassion or empathy toward their father but they think of themselves only. The fact that there is a storm brewing and that it erupts with great force is one of Shakespeare's clever devices of setting a certain atmosphere and mood, which has a great effect on the audience. This storm imagery plays an important part in the language of the play, as it reflects the chaos and breakdown Goneril and Regan have caused including the mental chaos they have created within Lear's mind. It emphasizes the drama of the situation and makes it look more cruel and sinister. For example, if the weather was sunny and cheery outside this scene wouldn't be as powerful. ...read more.

Conclusion

She plots to poison her sister we know this because when Regan exclaims ' sick, o' sick'. Goneril replies under her breath 'if not, I'll ne'er trust medicine'. Obviously Goneril has done the ultimate deed of wickedness by poisoning her sister who she was in it all together with. All over a man. This is ironic for the most devious and cunning of minds to be destroyed by a fact such as this. But it is this and this alone is what gives that awesome effect of retribution, and Shakespeare delivers this superbly. But what has happened to Cordilia? Cordilia remains righteous and heroic throughout and continues loyal to her father who treat her so badly in the beginning. Upon her return she tries to help and sustain her father. While he is asleep she professes her deep and abounding love for him, which she was unable to speak of before. Shakespeare has created three magnificently drawn out characters two evil and one good. The two evils stay evil through out. The good, good though out. These characters will go on forever and ever and will continue being studied for generations and generations, and many different views and opinions will be shaped about them. The way Shakespeare presents these characters will stay the same and that is what makes his plays truly special. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level King Lear section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level King Lear essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How effectively does Shakespeare present Lear's loss of power in the play?

    4 star(s)

    loss of power as while he was king he never behaved in this way. After losing power, Lear's nature completely changes and he becomes more empathetic and regretful making him a more sympathetic character to the audience. This presents Lear's loss in a more compassionate way, as now the audience

  2. Marked by a teacher

    The influence Act 1 has on the rest of the play in King Lear

    3 star(s)

    he has not received what he has asked for and authoritatively 'disclaims all [his] paternal care'. This in turn creates an even higher position for King Lear to fall from when his daughters remove all he controls and leaves him bare, with no authority whatsoever, creating a more dramatic and

  1. Explore the ways in which Shakespeare presents the characters of Edmund and Edgar in ...

    This reaction from Edgar not only shows his character traits but also the abilities of Edmund, showing how Shakespeare can use the reactions of other characters to display traits. Conversations between Edmund and Edgar can also be used to give revealing insights into the characters as opposing figures in the play.

  2. Free essay

    King Lear. Within the script Shakespeare presents characters of great greed and ambition in ...

    The storm brewing outside the Kingdom is metaphorically what is going on inside Lear's head. At this present time Lear is full of conflict, anger and disorder much like the environment 'one minded like the weather, most unquietly'. Shakespeare is manipulating the audience, changing their emotions in accordance to the tone of the act.

  1. To What Extent Can King Lear Be Described as the Tragic Hero of Shakespeares ...

    Does Lear's punishment exceed his crime? He certainly seems to think so: 'I am a man More sinned against than sinning.' In the events leading up to the end of the play, Shakespeare includes a number of devices to ensure the audience knows who the truly evil characters are compared to those, like Lear who just have their 'tragic flaw'.

  2. King Lear, Femininity and Female Disorder

    King Lear frequently makes reference to the ague. He states that he is not "ague-proof" (Act IV, Scene IV, L.119) meaning that he is not without short-coming, fallibility or fault. The ague or malaria is actually a fever spread by the female anopheles mosquito most common in Lear's day and so it is a female inflicted disease used to illustrate the moral ills of man.

  1. Explore the presentation of Edmund in 'King Lear'

    The next we hear of Edmund is in Act I scene ii, where a day has passed and the scene is in Gloucester's castle. Edmund voices openly his resentment at his status. He pledges himself to a compulsive drive to satisfy his desires, exulting in his bastardy; he is as

  2. Compare and contrast madness: its possible causes; its manifestations; its consequences; and its resolution, ...

    Though there is minor conciliation by the end of King Lear, The Winter's Tale, a comedy after all, does not share with Lear its themes of tragedy. Leontes' unexplained madness is far more isolated; when he verbally attacks Hermione, causing her apparent death and estranging their newborn daughter, his contemporaries are united in disagreement with him.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work