King Lear -- Sympathetic Characters

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King Lear -- Sympathetic Characters

A sympathetic character, is a character that the writer expects the reader (in this case watcher) to identify with and care about. In Shakespeare's play King Lear, the characters Gloucester and King Lear both start out not being liked by the reader because they come off as mean and cold. By the end of the play, the reader does sympathize for both of these characters because of how they have been betrayed by their children. Both King Lear and Gloucester turn out to be prime examples of a sympathetic character by the end of the play.

King Lear first appears in the play while he is splitting up his kingdom between his three daughters, he ends up not giving any of his kingdom to Cordelia because she wouldn't lie to him and tell him that she loves him more than anything "I love your majesty according to my bond, no more nor less."(1.1.92-93). Goneril and Regan (Lear's other 'bad' daughters) get all of the kingdom because they tell him that they love him more than anything else in the world. "Hence, and avoid my sight! So be my grave peace as here I give her father's heart from her."(1.1.127). King Lear is overly mad at Cordelia at the beginning of the play and banishes her from his kingdom because she did not treat him to the standard that he expected for a king. At this point in the play we do not feel sorry for him because he is being unreasonable. After King Lear splits up his kingdom between Goneril and Regan, he decides that he will spend his time living in between Goneril and Regans houses, this is when the readers feelings about Lear start to change. Lear realizes that his daughters do not really love him, Regan and Goneril dismiss his solders, don't treat him with respect as a king or father, and Goneril's servant Oswald does not treat him with the respect a king deserves. "Put on what weary negligence you please, you and your fellow servants." (1.3.12-13). His daughters then send him out into a storm, where he...
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