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Word Count: 850
King Lear by William Shakespeare is the story of the king of Britain and his three daughters There is also an underlying plot involving the Earl of Gloucester and his two sons The two plots while separate are mingled together to create one story The mingling of the two plots goes far to account for the supreme richness and complexity of King Lear This statement is correct as Shakespeares addition of the story of Gloucester emphasises the main plot as they are parallel to each other This analytical exposition will look at the parallel characters of Lear and Gloucester Cordelia and Edgar Gonerill Regan and Edmond and how their similarities add to overall effect of the play The Earl of Gloucester is King Lears parallel Both Lear and Gloucester embrace their loyal children and are blind in seeing their loyal ones Lear and Gloucesters rash actions cause their individual downfalls and both realise their mistakes too late At the beginning of the play both are happy men surrounded by good fortune as the story progresses both endure disasters at the betrayal of their disloyal children and end up at the bottom At the beginning of the play Lear is about to hand over his Kingdom to his three daughters but first seeking compliments he asks them to proclaim their love for him Both Gonerill and Regan give their father flattering answers His third daughter Cornelia declares that CORDELIA Unhappy that I am I cannot heave My heart into my mouth I love your majesty According to my bond no more nor less1 i 8688 Enraged at this response Lear banished Cordelia Adding to the complexity of the story the next scene introduces the parallel story line involving the Earl of Gloucester Gloucesters illegitimate son Edmond tricks him into believing that his legitimate son Edgar was plotting to kill him Gloucester makes the same mistake as Lear disowns Edgar and enstates Edmond as his heir
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