Theme Of Deception In King Lear

765 Words4 Pages
Throughout the play, deception is a vital element in the betrayal of both King Lear and Gloucester. For example, Shakespeare depicts Edgar’s scheme personality by saying, “A credulous father, and a brother noble— / Whose nature is so far from doing harms” (1.2. 192-193). By utilizing descriptions such as “credulous” and “noble” to describe Gloucester and Edgar, it reveals the malicious aspect of deception. Shakespeare shows the evil behind this deception by revealing Edgar wants to take advantage of the innocent for his own personal gain. In contrast, Kent’s deception is seen as, “If but as well I other accents borrow, / That can my speech diffuse, my good intent” (1.4. 1-2). By using the phrase “my good intent”, Shakespeare contrasts Edmund’s selfishness with Kent’s selflessness. He shows Kent’s deception as trickery that is benevolent and beneficial to others. This reveals that deception is not inherently evil, but rather, it depends on the person’s motive.
At this point in the play, King Lear has lost everything. Lear no longer has property, title, or respect. Despite not having these things, Lear still manages to keep his pride. This is evident when he refuses to use “women’s weapons, water drops” (2.4. 276). This shows that Lear is desperate to maintain an image of superiority. He tries to bolden his self image by using the idea that his daughters are women and should be inferior to men. In addition, Lear continues to try to maintain an image of power by saying, “I
Open Document