Unnatural Relationships Prompted by Power

Decent Essays

A struggle for supremacy between parent and offspring is a reoccurring theme throughout William Shakespeare’s tragedy King Lear. The play unfolds as King Lear is deciding how to divide his realm amongst his three daughters. Lear’s two eldest daughters, Goneril and Regan, flatter their father with elaborate speeches of love hoping to inherit the largest piece of land. Unknown to Lear, his daughter’s so-called “unconditional” love for him is nothing more than an attempt to possess dominance over the kingdom. Consequently, an unnatural relationship between father and daughters is created due to the pursuit of power. The first sign that Lear’s daughters desire control is observable in Regan’s dialogue in act one scene one. After Goneril appeals her love for Lear Regan replies, “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” (lines 76-79 page 11). Here Regan claims that her and Goneril are the same, yet Goneril’s love is not as worthy as Regan’s. Both daughters are competing against each other in order to obtain the most amount of land. As a result, an abnormal relationship is formed because the daughter’s drive to love their father should not be based on material possessions. Goneril’s and Regan’s motivation is the control they will receive in deceiving their father with false love. Additionally, the concept of unnaturalness between daughters and father due to being

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