Essay about King Lear - Seven Deadly Sins

1206 Words Nov 12th, 2012 5 Pages
King Lear: The Seven Deadly Sins

The Seven Deadly Sins In the play King Lear Shakespeare demonstrates the tragedy that can occur once humans allow themselves to be taken over by any one of the seven deadly sins.

Greed The sin of greed is perfectly exemplified in the character of Edmund. Throughout the play Edmund’s greed is the motivating factor behind all of the decisions that he makes. Edmund, as the illegitimate son of Gloucester plots against his brother in order to obtain his inheritance completely ignoring all familial responsibility in the pursuit of land and money. At the beginning of the play you see that he merely wants to take his brother’s inheritance but as greed gets the better of him he begins to plot against
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A lust for power is also displayed through Goneril and Regan as they reject their own father in favour of material possessions and power.

Wrath
At the beginning of the play King Lear denounces Cordelia as his daughter in a fit of rage. He has this reaction simply because she refused to flatter him and speak exaggerations of her love for him. As his favourite daughter, Lear was expecting Cordelia to shower him with compliments and praises like his other two daughters and when this did not occur he was overwhelmed with fury and denounces her as his daughter. Lear also falls victim to wrath once he realizes what his other two daughters have done to him. “I will have such revenges on you both, That all the world shall--I will do such things,-- What they are, yet I know not: but they shall be The terrors of the earth.” (2.4.305-9). In this quote Lear reveals the wrath that he wishes to inflict on both of his daughters for deceiving him and rejecting him after he gave them everything he had. King Lear’s wrath is fueled by his daughters’ betrayal. Lear never actually did proceed to inflict his wrath upon his daughters but he did however have every intention of doing so if given the opportunity.

Sloth
The entire play is built around one man’s laziness. As the play commences one may question why Lear would decide to prematurely give up his kingdom. It is quite possible that he transferred his authorities before it was
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