There is little good to be said for Lear’s older daughters, who are largely indistinguishable in their villainy and spite. Goneril and Regan are clever—or at least clever enough to flatter their father in the play’s opening scene—and, early in the play, their bad behavior toward Lear seems matched by his own pride and temper. But any sympathy that the audience can muster for them evaporates quickly, first when they turn their father out into the storm at the end of Act 2 and then when they viciously put out Gloucester’s eyes in Act 3. Goneril and Regan are, in a sense, personifications of evil—they have no conscience, only appetite. It is this greedy ambition that enables them to crush all opposition and make themselves mistresses of Britain. Ultimately, however, this same appetite brings about their undoing. Their desire for power is satisfied, but both harbor sexual desire for Edmund, which destroys their alliance and eventually leads them to destroy each other. Evil, the play suggests, inevitably turns in on itself.
to help with the side story, think of the movie Thor:
Edgar- Thor (the good brother; gets punished and illegitimate brother takes over for a while)
Edmund-Loki (evil, illegitimate son who is jealous of his brother)
MIND BLOWN. Stan Lee probably read Shakespeare
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it is kind of confusing dealing with King Lear and his three daughters, and then having to deal with Gloucester. My suggestion, think of the movie Thor:
-Edgar: Thor (the good brother who is supposed to succeed Odin-son/Gloucester when he dies; is deceived by Loki/Edmund and then gets punished)
-Edmund: Loki (the evil, illegitimate brother who is jealous of Thor/Edgar (except Loki was adopted); gets control of the throne for a while)
Hope this helps
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There's “a time to keep and a time to cast away." King Lear just got his times mixed up, and it gave us a great play. Finished Lear on my way to reading and blogging about them all by April 2014.
In case you're interested in a few of my thoughts on the play, visit my blog (also there, I've linked to a good production of the play that's available on the PBS Great Performances website):
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Take a Study Break!