Themes in "King Lear"

Mind Map by , created over 6 years ago

Mind Map on Themes in "King Lear", created by eleanor.gregory on 04/28/2013.

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Created by eleanor.gregory over 6 years ago
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Themes in "King Lear"
1 Fathers and Children
1.1 Gonerill and Regan plot against their father and Edmond is plotting against his.
1.1.1 Edmond repeatedly calls Gloucester "father" when Gonerill and Regan never do.
1.2 Both Lear and Gloucester cast out children. Gloucester doesn't trust Edgar and Lear is displeased with Cordelia.
1.3 Both the sets of children are controlling and possessive of their fathers.
1.4 Cordelia and Edgar are the good children who love their fathers but they are being banished and punished.
1.5 Objectification: Edmond wants Gloucester's title and Gonerill and Regan want Lear's power.
2 Women
2.1 There are two sets of women in the play: good and evil.
2.2 Cordelia is the virtuous, good, honest woman that would have been expected for women then.
2.3 Gonerill and Regan are the women that would have shocked audiences - evil, immoral, lustful.
2.4 Showing two extremes of the types of women.
3 Appearance and Identity
3.1 Edmond feels very bitter about his identity which is the cause of his villainous plots.
3.2 There are a lot of characters who are not what they seem - they are hiding their true intentions.
3.2.1 Gonerill and Regan pretend to love their father to gain his trust and power.
3.2.2 Edmond pretends to care for Edgar and warn him so that he will leave and allow the manipulation of Gloucester to begin.
3.3 Edgar becoming mad - he is stripping away his identity and this allows him to understand virtues and become the hero of the play.
3.3.1 Edgar remains in disguise because he does not want to hurt his father further by revealing who he is.
3.4 Kent - he disguises himself so that he can continue to serve Lear and show his loyalty to the King.
4 Sight and Blindness
4.1 Both Lear and Gloucester are blind to what their children are doing to them.
4.2 Lear is blind to how the poor in his kingdom live but his madness gives him sight and allows him to understand.
4.3 Gloucester becomes literally blind - payment for what he did to Edgar? Edmond's evil scheming?
4.4 Gloucester's blindness allows him to 'see' what Edmond has done and how he has wronged Edgar.
5 Manipulation
5.1 Edmond manipulates Cornwall, Gonerill and Regan into his plot so that he is close to the power.
5.2 Lear is manipulated out of his knights by his daughters - he loses his power to them.
5.3 Edmond manipulates Gloucester into banishing Edgar so that he is the favoured son and nothing stands in his way of gaining power.
5.4 Edmond pretends to love both Gonerill and Regan so that they will turn against each other and leave him in control.
6 Loyalty
6.1 Edgar remains loyal to his father even after he has been cast out.
6.2 Oswald remains loyal throughout the play even though is he serving a villainous master.
6.3 Kent comes back even after banishment to show that all he wants to achieve is loyalty to the King.
6.4 Cordelia remains loyal to her father and helps him see the error of his ways.
7 Conflict
7.1 The storm is violent and represents the conflict between Lear and his daughters at that moment.
7.2 Gonerill and Regan show conflict the later part of the play.
7.2.1 Fighting over Edmond and preventing one being alone with him.
7.2.2 Regan speaks to Oswald to find out what Gonerill is trying to do with Edmond.
7.2.3 Regan poisoned by her sister.
8 Madness
8.1 Lear
8.1.1 The madness shows his fall from power and how he was once a mighty King but has now lost everything.
8.1.2 He must go mad in order to understand the truth.
8.1.3 He becomes dependable on the Fool who is 'mad'.
8.2 Edgar pretends to be mad so that he can show development by the end of the play and in his revenge against his brother.
8.3 Gloucester's blinding is the physical representation of Lear's madness.
9 Revenge
9.1 Edgar wants to have revenge against his brother for he did to their father.
10 Good vs. Evil
10.1 Acts Four and Five sandwich the good and bad characters, showing the contrast between them.
10.2 The good join together against the bad in the final show down.
11 Betrayal
11.1 Gonerill and Regan betray their father.
11.2 Edmond
11.2.1 Betrays his brother into thinking that Gloucester wants to kill him so that Edmond has all the power.
11.2.2 He betrays Gloucester by telling him Edgar wants his life and by authorising his blinding.
11.2.3 Betraying Gonerill and Regan by promising to be with the both.
12 Forgiveness
12.1 Lear realises his mistakes and forgives his daughter.
12.2 Edgar forgives Gloucester for what has done and protects him.

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