King Lear Research Paper

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Women and Power in King Lear Many factors can cause a woman to deviate from her natural feminine instincts. Shakespeare’s King Lear indirectly portrays the influence that familial bonds have on the development of a woman’s character. Growing up in a masculine environment due to the absence of a female role model certainly leads to women having destructive qualities when faced with conflict. Also, manipulation may play a key role in a situation when the women involved are not favoured by the figure that determines the outcome. A woman’s reasoning and conflict resolution techniques may also replicate those of her father, or other male figures she may observe. The motivation and need for power that the women in King Lear possess is a result of…show more content…
She is indeed motivated to possess as much of this power as she can, but it simply does not matter to her if they way in which she is granted this authority, is entirely fair. Through his academic journal, Foster expresses complementary views. “Goneril’s vows of affection for her father divest truth from her own body—she does not really heave her heart into her mouth” (Foster). If she did put her heart in her mouth, Goneril would surely not have said the things she did about her father. She essentially “played by his rules” and strategically manipulated him to obtain the power she so dearly believes she deserves. She understands the pressure she is under to speak before Lear, as her words dictate her future as a ruler. In all, Goneril uses manipulation in her favour to get what she…show more content…
Goneril’s reasoning and way of dealing with conflicts that may arise replicate Lear’s way of solving a dispute. Lear banishes Cordelia out of utter frustration and disappointment, as the only way he is familiar with settling an issue is through outbursts of extreme anger. When Goneril comes to realize that Lear and his knights are notably rude and out of control, her contention is a result of observing how Lear once dealt with her youngest sister: By day and night he wrongs me. Every hour/ He flashes into one gross crime or other/ That sets us all at odds. I’ll not endure it./ His knights grow riotous, and himself upbraids us/ On every trifle. When he returns from hunting, I will not speak with him. Say I am sick./ If you come slack of former services, You shall do well. The fault of it I’ll answer. (i. iii.

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