The Villains of King Lear

2097 Words Apr 14th, 2013 9 Pages
The Villains of King Lear
“A villain must be a thing of power, handled with delicacy and grace. He must be wicked enough to excite our aversion, strong enough to arouse our fear, human enough to awaken some transient gleam of sympathy. We must triumph in his downfall, yet not barbarously nor with contempt, and the close of his career must be in harmony with all its previous development.” -Agnes Repplier

What makes a villain a villain? Some people might say that it is maniacal laughter and a personal vendetta against the protagonist in a story; others may say that it is just someone who is evil. It is actually much more complex than that and no one really stops to think about what makes that villain truly interesting. Villainy can
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However, she does not provoke any form of sympathy in the reader and so is missing that vital component that would make her more multi-dimensional and interesting.

Goneril’s younger sister and the middle child of Lear’s daughters, Regan, is very similar to her elder sister in many ways. The first is that she readily lies to her father to convince him to give her half of his kingdom.
“I am made of that self mettle as my sister, and prize me at her worth. In my true heart
I find she names my very deed of love;
Only she comes too short, that I profess
Myself an enemy to all other joys
Which the most precious square of sense possesses,
And I am alone felicitate
In your dear Highness’ love.”
After explaining to her father that Goneril has described what she feels as well, with the exception that her love extends beyond that of her sister’s, she has what she wants from him, and attempts to cast him out of her life in order to fully enjoy all that she has procured from him. The only real difference between Regan and her older sister is the fact that she is less overt in her cruelty to others. That is to say, she tends to have others do her dirty work for her. An example of this would be when she urges the Duke of Cornwall to gouge out the both of
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