By close analysis of the language in this extract, discuss Shakespeare’s portrayal of Goneril and Regan.

In Act 2, Scene 4, Goneril and Regan are portrayed as patronising, belittling and extremely down putting when talking to their father King Lear. For example:

        “Why might not you, my lord, receive attendance from those that she calls servants, or from mine?”

Goneril is talking in a belittling way, practically saying that now Lear is no better than them, so he can make do with their servants, he has little power now as he’s given it to his two daughters, so he is no higher in society than them. This would be seen as especially down-putting for a King in that era, which conveys the harshness and cruelty of the two daughters, to whom Lear gave everything.

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Lear states:

        “I gave you all.”

To which Regan smugly replies:

        “And in good time you gave it.”

Regan speaks so ungratefully of her fathers actions of granting her land, which clearly makes Lear realise how stupid and idiotic he has been. The two sisters are portrayed as evil, ungrateful and smug throughout this scene, which makes the audience feel sympathy with Lear, even though he made rash, harsh decisions at the beginning of the play.

        “What must I come to you with five and twenty, Regan? Said you so?”

        “And speak’t again, my lord. No more with ...

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