How Does King Lear Show The Power Of Evil

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Does the Power of Good Truly Overthrow Evil Actions? Reuen Thomas once put it that, “No man is permanently and fixedly evil, until he is willingly evil.” This best describes the power of evil and the destruction it entails in William Shakespeare’s King Lear. Each of the following characters had a choice. No one is born evil; they simply choose to be through their decisions and actions. Evil is a critical theme throughout the play that shows the audience the true nature deeply rooted in its characters. As the play progresses, those evil characteristics embedded in the character’s persona become more apparent. It is often said that good triumphs over evil but in King Lear that is not the case; evil destroys itself. While evil controls its…show more content…
(1.4.238-241) Instead of respecting her father’s wishes and doing what is requested of her, Goneril’s greed subjugates her judgement and destroys the bond that was once shared between Lear and his daughter. Goneril’s tirade of greed continues as she begins to seek more than just wealth and power. Her evil actions in her quest for love are what ultimately destroy her in the end. After her husband, the Duke of Albany, realizes Goneril’s true nature he begins to act against her in order to restore the Great Chain of Being. This turns Goneril’s attention towards Edmund. However, the lust towards Edmund is shared with another; the newfound widow, Regan. Goneril recognizes that for her to satisfy her hunger for love she must take charge and eliminate the opposition. Goneril poisons her sister’s drink; a deplorable act filled with evil, one that allows her to take Edmund as her husband. Nevertheless, after Edmund is wounded in a battle against his brother, Edgar—in disguise at the time,—Goneril understands that the man she lusts for is going to die. No longer with a will to live on, Goneril confesses to her fulfilled plot to kill her sister, then stabs herself: Edgar: What means this bloody…show more content…
It is obvious that Edmund doesn’t have a preference as to which sister he receives but the two sisters are oblivious to his true self and continue to fight over him. “My lord is dead; Edmund and I have talk’d / And more convenient for my hand / Than for your lady’s,” (4.5.30-32) Regan tells Oswald, a faithful servant to Goneril. Goneril realizes that Regan shares her feelings for Edmund and makes plans to kill her. It is Regan’s callous behaviour and refusal to give in to her sister that results in her own death. Goneril poisons her sister’s drink, a final attempt to win the heart of Edmund. If Regan would have chosen a different path, one that involved less decisions clouded by evil, she may not have come to an untimely

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