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

King Lear an essay about Shakespeare's presentation of women in "King Lear".

Extracts from this document...


I am going to write an essay about Shakespeare's presentation of women in "King Lear". In the beginning of the play, we are introduced to Lear's three daughters: Goneril, Regan and his favourite, Cordelia. As we continue with the play we notice that they are the only women there. So from that point we can see that Shakespeare did not really favour women in this particular play. In Act 1 scene i Lear gave his daughters a "love test" after he announced that he was splitting his kingdom between them. Goneril is the first to speak, "Sir I love you more than word can wield the matter" now to Lear that is flattering but to us, the audience it is all fake. Regan is just the same but she tries to outdo Goneril, "I am made of that self mettle as my sister and prize me at her worth" Already we can see that being a woman she is not all that happy because she feels that only Goneril and Cordelia's speeches will have an effect as they speak first and last respectively. ...read more.


The language Goneril and Regan used with Lear is different to the language they use between themselves and Cordelia. "Sir I love you more than word can wield the matter"-Goneril. "I am made of self mettle as my sister and prize me at her worth"-Regan. From these two quotes we can see that they flatter Lear with their niceties, even though the audience are not fooled by them. "Prescribe not us our duty"-Regan. Here we can see that Regan's tone has changed from the one she used with Lear, as she talks to Cordelia. Also at the end of Act 1 we can see their tone is absolutely cold "such unconstant starts are we like to have from him", "this last surrender of his will but offend us." In those quotes Regan and Goneril are talking about Lear and his rash impulses and how he will cause problems for them. ...read more.


So we can see that Goneril doesn't want to be the only one disrespecting Lear. Act 2 scene ii shows us that Regan is a cols and selfish person. She makes Cornwall (her husband) lock Kent in the stocks all night "till noon! Till night my lord and all night too" after Cornwall said he would only be there till noon. She has no respect for Lear either because Kent is his soldier, so if anyone should punish Kent it should be Lear. "What's he that hath so much thy place mistook to set thee here?" Lear questioned Kent as to who put him in the stocks and why though they had the right to do that. Shakespeare has portrayed Regan as a selfish woman, maybe it's because she is the middle child, In Act 2 scene iv we see that Lear is slowly catching on to his evil daughters and he also makes reference to Cordelia "our youngest born". Lear gets mad at Goneril and Regan because Regan expects him to beg for forgiveness from Goneril which is an insult to him. ?? ?? ?? ?? Oyinkan Alli ...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. Representation of Women in 'King Lear'

    The 'tragedy' in the play reflects awareness of the terrible human price paid by a society that represses female instincts and feelings. Regan and Goneril betray and disappoint Lear by not being mothers to him - a behaviour resulting from their "masculine instincts".

  2. I am a man more sinned against than sinning King Lear was written ...

    Lear is going mad and exits Gloucester castle in the middle of a raging storm along with the fool and Kent. Regan Gonerill and Cornwall agree to shut the doors behind Lear justifying their actions by saying his knights are a danger to them.

  1. Character Analyses - King Lear

    Throughout most of the play, having power has been most important to Goneril, but by its conclusion, she is willing to lose the battle, and thus the kingdom, rather than lose a man. Character Analyses Regan Regan is Lear's second daughter.

  2. What changes do you notice in the presentation of Lear in act 3 scene ...

    In a sense the storm may mark the beginning of Lear's transformation as before it appears lear has not yet begun to change from the old king lear to lear the man "I will have such revenges on you both" lear is still set in revenging his daughters betrayal, however

  1. A Brief Summary of King Lear - I, II, III, IV

    Lear accepts him unknowing of his true identity. It is clear at this point in the play that Lear expects to be treated as a King even though he has no power to back the title. The court jester, aptly named The Fool, appears and provides a scathing commentary on Lear's situation.

  2. A Consideration of the way Shakespeare presents and develops the theme of blindness in ...

    Lear's agony he endured on the heath, and references such as Gonerill's malicious comment, 'Pluck out his eyes' increase the tension in the audience and prepare us for the hideous crime.

  1. King Lear gold

    Until the moment that your parents die you are a child. Psychologically you don't really grow up until your parents die. Then you know you become a true adult - you become the parent. And I think until you're free of the baggage of childhood then it is very very difficult to disentangle your own feelings.

  2. Response to Shakespeare - King Lear.

    short of the love that she has for her father: " I am made of that self mettle as my sister And price me at her worth. In my true heart I find she names the very deed of love; Only she comes too short," (1.1.69/72)

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