King Lear--a Man More Sinned a

Topics: King Lear, John Hurt, Ian McKellen Pages: 4 (1443 words) Published: October 8, 1999
King Lear—A Man More Sinned Against Than Sinning?
A King is supposed to have all that he needs without having to worry about anything in his late years. Yet King Lear, in Act 3, Scene 2, cried out in pitifully: “I am a man / More sinned against than sinning.” Although Lear has made a huge mistake in the first scene of the play in dividing up his kingdom and banishing his two dearest people, the sins his two other ungrateful daughters have done him is far greater than the extent of Lear’s wrongs. After dividing the kingdom, Lear gave everything to his two daughters on the condition that he would keep his title as King, keep his entourage and that he would stay with each daughter for a certain amount of time. Goneril, annoyed with her father’s impulsive temper, refuses to put up with him and orders Oswald and all other servants to provoke Lear so she would have a chance to rid of him: “Put on what weary negligence you please,

You and your fellows. I’d have it come to question.” (I, iii, 13-14) Goneril’s act demonstrates her impatience and her revengeful nature as she wanted Lear to suffer from whatever she had to put up with him before. In Act 1, Scene 4, Goneril complains about Lear’s impulsive behaviour and constant moodswing: “…and put away

These dispositions which of late transport you
From what you rightly are.” (I, iii, 217-219) Telling her father what he ought to do is thought of as disgracing her father during those times. A child is supposed to demonstrate strict obedience towards his parents. In addition, Goneril criticizes her father’s entourage vehemently : “…this your all-licensed fool,

But other of your insolent retinue
Do hourly carp and quarrel, breaking forth
In rank and not-to-be endured riots.” (I, iv, 197-200) The King’s knights represented his status as king and criticizing them...
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