Cassie's Reviews > King Lear

King Lear by William Shakespeare
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Nov 29, 11

bookshelves: theatre, books-i-own

** spoiler alert ** King Lear seems to be a cautionary tale about bad parenting. You've got Lear, who exiles one child and expects the world from his other two. You've got Gloucester, who treats his own flesh and blood with vitriol and disdain because of his illegitimate status. It seems to me that their own poor parenting caused the bulk of their problems. If Lear had treated Cordelia better and not tried to play King of the Castle in his adult daughter's homes, he probably wouldn't have ended up crazy and dead on the stage. Cordelia would have stayed and taken care of him, and Regan and Goneril would have been off living their lives with their husbands without their father's interference. Somewhat more direct is the fate of Gloucester - if he had given Edmund the same fatherly regard as his other children, Edmund wouldn't have needed to legitimize himself by targeting his father.

I think King Lear is an interesting story for exactly that reason. We see seemingly small foibles manifest themselves as serious problems. The narrative is very interesting, and the characters compelling. That being said, I have a hard time sympathizing with Lear or Gloucester, because I really feel like they made their own beds.
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