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

In what ways does the sub-plot mirror the main plot?

Extracts from this document...


In what ways does the sub-plot mirror the main plot? One can say that the sub plot does mirror the main plot to some extent. Some are in subtle ways and some are in the more obvious ways. Shakespeare has two plots in order to intensify the main theme of tragedy that runs throughout this play. The main plot is in which King Lear is the tragic hero however it is clear that just by misfortune he is deprived of something very valuable to him by error of judgment and this is immediately highlighted in the first scene of Act one where he goes through a rapid transition of loving to hating his only truly loyal daughter Cordelia. Disowning her because she refuses to exaggerate her feelings for him, whereby she only says she loves Lear as a daughter should love a father is his first major mistake and it is mirrored in the sub plot through the actions of Gloucester. There we see that he too immediately casts judgement on his loyal son Edgar and disowns him as a result of manipulation by Edmund. ...read more.


Throughout the rest of the play, the consequences of this error slowly and steadfastly increase until Lear is destroyed. Therefore although egotism is a big part of his character, that does not prevent the audience from understanding the tragedy that falls on him. This is because for us as the audience to identify tragedy with him, we must feel that what happens to him could happen to us. If Lear was completely evil we would not be fearful of what happens to him, he would merely be repulsive. This is exemplified in Othello too, whereby the audience's fear of what happens to the character juxtaposed to the lack of care towards another character due to their repulsiveness is shown with the juxtaposition of Othello and Iago. Like Othello, Lear too does inspire fear because like us, the audience, he is not completely upright, nor is he completely wicked. He is foolish and arrogant, later also humble and compassionate. He is wrathful, this is exemplified by his rash decision to divide Cordelia's part of the kingdom into two for the other daughters to share; but at times patient and these attributes mirror those in Gloucester' character too. ...read more.


Although both sets of villains want power and the downfall of their fathers, it could be said that Goneril and Reagan are doing this more out of greed as oppose to Edmund who, born a bastard which continuously haunts him, does what he does as an act against the whole society. Therefore, Edmund's driving force is to revolt against those in power, against traditional values and against the very make-up of society. He regards this revolution as a worthy cause, and his scheming is aimed at putting himself in power, gaining the throne. Therefore one can say that the sub plot very much mirrors the main plot in terms of direct parallels that run among characters as well as the main themes and it is used by Shakespeare in order to emphasise the degree of tragedy in this play as well as evil's triumph over innocence and good and both plots particularly highlight the point, in Act one, that "nothing comes from nothing", thereby evil does not come from nowhere, something always comes from something ?? ?? ?? ?? Miles Sriharan English Essay Mrs. Pollock ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE King Lear essays

  1. King Lear gold

    "Do that, do that", and there's a wonderful moment in the play where he says "Pray you undo this button", and Edgar undoes the button - well in my production Edgar undoes the button - and Lear for the first time in the play says the words, "Thank you."

  2. Discuss the Theme of Alienation In Two of the

    most cases sacrifice themselves so that men can know about their faults. King Lear after a state of disillusionment and madness is left alone in his kingdom. The theme of alienation theme is portrayed at several instances in the play when Shakespeare was trying perhaps to follow Brecht's alienation effect

  1. Shakespear's ‘King Lear’ is a tragic play consisting of evil and malevolence in 17th ...

    This relates to evil because Cornwall is accusing Gloucester of a crime he did not commit, and punishing him for it. This section links in with the blindness theme woven throughout the play as Cornwall is being blinded from the truth and so has become confused.

  2. King Lear: Plot

    Lear is worried he is going mad. At Gloucester's castle, Edmund tells Edgar to flee, then cutss himself to make it look like Edgar cut him. Gloucester vows to capture Edgar and reward Edmund. Regan and Cornwall talk to Albany about their problems with Lear. Kent comes to Gloucester's with a message from Lear and meets Oswald with a message from Goneril.

  1. Character Analyses - King Lear

    Civil war and insurrection are the inevitable results of Lear's actions. The love test forces Regan and Goneril into competing against the favored younger sister. Ultimately, deadly conflict arises between Lear and his older daughters, and the long-standing competition between sisters creates conflict between ruling factions, further dividing the kingdom.

  2. Explore the Ways in Which Shakespeare Presents the Character of King Lear.

    Whilst Shakespeare deliberately shows Lear's actions to be rash, ill-advised and indicative of madness to come, it is important to note that he does not portray Lear as being mentally ill at this point in the play. Lear shows little restraint or perspective in his banishment of Cordelia from the

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