King Lear Plot and Character Summary Copy and paste this for a copy in your notebooks OR download

the document below Characters in King Lear:  King Lear: The king of Britain and the protagonist of the play. Prior to giving everything but his title to his two eldest daughters, he enjoyed unconditional authority, being flattered and he does not respond well to being challenged. Lear is short sighted which is noted in the beginning of the play when he chooses his two older daughters flattery over Cordelia's true affection. Goneril: Lear's Eldest Daughter and the wife of the duke of Albany. She is cunning in nature and is aggressive. She plots with her sister Regan to get rid of Lear, initiates an affair with Edmund and takes away military power from her husband. Regan: Lear's middle Daughter and the wife of the duke of Cornwall. Her traits are similar to that of Goneril. They compete with one another for Edmund's affection. Cordelia: Lear's Youngest daughter and the Queen of France. She is the opposite of her sisters. She is virtuous, kind, compassionate and is held in high regard by all the good characters in the play. Gloucester: Gloucester a loyal Lear and his rank is earl, which is right below duke. He is similar to Lear in many ways. He chooses to trust his youngest son's lies over the loyalty of his eldest son. He is an adulterer who has fathered a 'bastard' son. Edgar: He is Gloucester's oldest and legitimate son. He is honest and good. He takes on the role of a mad man later in the play to evade is father's men and to aid Gloucester & Lear in secret. Edmund: Gloucester's younger and illegitimate son. He will do anything to take power and wealth away from his family. He is wicked and wreaks havoc on almost all of the characters. Kent: A nobleman on the same rank as Gloucester before being banished by Lear. He disguises himself so that he may continue to serve Lear even after being sent away. Fool(upper right): Lear's court jester. He uses humor to criticize Lear's foolish mistakes. Albany: The husband of Goneril. He is good at heart but is short sighted. He does not realize the evil around him until near the end of the play Cornwall: The husband of Regan. He is cruel and vicious. He teams up with Goneril and Regan to get rid of Gloucester and Lear. Oswald: Servant of Goneril.

Plot of King Lear: King Lear divides his kingdom equally between his three daughters. However, he first requires each one of them to tell him how much they love him. Goneril and Regan gladly flatter their father. Cordelia on the other hand stays silent and tells her father that she has no words to describe her love. Enraged, Lear disowns Cordelia. France then says that he will marry cordelia even with a dowry. Cordelia leaves Britain without her father's blessing.

Lear soon realizes his mistake when Goneril and Regan take away any authority he still has. Unable to accept that his daughters have betrayed him, Lear goes insane. He leaves his daughters' houses with the fool and Kent (a nobleman in disguise). In a parallel story, Gloucester makes the same mistakes as Lear. He believes his youngest son Edmund's trickery as opposed to the loyalty of his eldest son Edgar. Gloucester sends out his men to hunt down Edgar. Edgar then flees and disguises himself as a mad beggar. Despite being short sighted, Gloucester is loyal to Lear. He is helps Lear in spite of the danger. When Regan, Goneril and Cornwall discover that he is aiding Lear, they blind him and leave him to smell his way to Dover. Cornwall is killed by a servant in the process. In Dover, the French army is led by Cordelia in an effort to save Lear. Edmund is romantically involved with both Regan and Goneril. Edmund and Goneril plan to kill Albany. Edgar saves Gloucester from committing suicide. However, Gloucester soon dies from grieve and joy when Edgar reveals himself to his father. The British army arrive at Dover and defeat the French. Lear and Cordelia are captured. Goneril kills Regan due to jealousy for Edmund. Edmund sentences Cordelia and Lear to death, however, only Lear was saved. Goneril later commits suicide and Edmund dies. Albany, Edgar and Kent are left to rule the country.