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Word Count: 976
William Shakespeares King Lear has within it many Machiavellian theories This is evident once we examine the characters of Edmund Goneril and Regan The Machiavellian principles relating to politics ethics and virtue are exemplified throughout King Lear play by these three characters Machiavellian politics deal with acquiring power and forming very strong governments For Machiavelli power meant politics Ethics can be best described as a branch of knowledge concerned with moral principles The Theme of morality and ethics keeps evolving throughout King Lear and is demonstrated by these three characters Virtue is the final principle highlighted by this Shakespeare play By examining each of the three characters in more depth we can better understand how Machiavellian theories apply to the play King Lear Edmund is the most Machiavellian character in King Lear for many reasons Edmund was born as illegitimated son of Gloucester He had elder brother named Edgar who was legitimated son of Gloucester and beloved suitable heir Edmund shows his avarice greed and envy towards Edger Edmund states soliloquy Thou Nature art my goddess to thy law now gods stand up for bastardsI ii 1-22 This shows that he blame the nature that he never meant to born as an illegitimated such as bastard son He also decides that as concern everything think as a bastard he will act as a bastard the way of being Machiavellian as manipulating and taking advantage of others Especially from the part of soliloquy legitimate Edgar I must have your land I ii 16 He is showing his jealousy towards Edgar and all that he has Back in Shakespeares time land ownership was a form of wealth Wealth equaled political power Acquiring political power is a Machiavellian trait Edmund also criticized his father for being too superstitious and gullible in nature He ridiculed his father Gloucester for his beliefs and he thought he was morally superior to him Edmund exploited his fathers good nature by enraging
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