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Word Count: 2,657
The Role of the Mask in King Lear What is a mask The dictionary defines a mask as anything that disguises or conceals Characters in King Lear use masks throughout the play The masks are used for two main functions to conceal ones true plans and actions and to provide a protective disguise Goneril Regan and Edmund corrupt individuals in the play all use masks to hide their evil and vicious intents Goneril and Regan show their father a mask of love while hiding their goal to obtain all of his land and power Edmund wears many masks during the play All of which are used to gain respect power and possibly love Kent and Edgar honorable characters in the play also have to resort to using masks Unlike their adversaries however their masks are only used to serve virtuous purposes Kent wears a mask to keep his identity unknown so that he can serve help and protect the King Edgar wears different masks to protect himself and bring justice to the antagonists Although Goneril Regan and Edmund never wear an actual mask or disguise they all hide behind metaphorical masks Goneril is the first character in The Tragedy of King Lear to exercise this method of concealing her emotions Her father King Lear is growing old and has decided to divide his land between Goneril and her two sisters Before he hands out the land he elects to give his daughters a test of love He asks each of his daughters to tell him just how much they love him Goneril quickly puts on her mask of love and tells her father she loves him more than anything in the world Goneril says Sir I love you Beyond what can be valued rich or rare No less than life with grace health beauty honor As much as a child evr lovd or father found 115458-9
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