Representation Of Women In Shakespeare's King Lear And Webster's White Devil

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Representation of Women in Shakespeare's King Lear and Webster's White Devil

Representation of Women in Shakespeare's King Lear and Webster's White Devil

King Lear, one of the most sublime manifestations of the genius of Shakespeare and the theater of all time, reworks an old issue of British folklore, that the old king was hunted by both ungrateful and sly daughters, Goneril and Regan; and in vain for relief from the third, the sweet Cordelia is wrongly rejected. A tragedy over misunderstanding between fathers and sons, devotion and ingratitude, but not only with unsurpassed accents poetic and dramatic staging Shakespeare in King Lear bitter reflection about man, his inability to understand the tricks of the world, the fine line that separates reason and madness.

The play opens with the decision of King Lear, tired and late in life, to abdicate the throne and divide the kingdom among his three daughters by asking them to take part in a "love test" to find the daughter who will prove to love him more (Fraser, 2012). The winner will get the best part of the Kingdom. Wife of the Duke of Cornwall, Regan and Goneril to the Duke of Albany, are the first to protest with words full their love to the father. Lear is pleased and assigns each of them a part of the kingdom. Preserves last, the best, the youngest daughter and favorite, Cordelia, is asked in marriage by the Duke of Burgundy by the King of France. Cordelia, unfortunately, is not inclined to falsehood and lies and is not intended for anything in the world to behave like sisters. Therefore declares simply love Lear as much as a daughter can love a father, having his lips what is in his heart, no more, no less (no more nor less) (Vaillant, 2008). In comparison to Webster's White Devil Lear furious attempts to persuade Cordelia to reconsider its response, but without success, and recklessly, in a rage, he decided not to grant any land and banish from the kingdom, which divides instead of the other two daughters. After dividing his property between Goneril and Regan, Lear realizes his mistake and the true character of the daughters is revealed. Not wanting to believe that the daughters are betraying, and the maltreatment to the elder king, Lear gradually loses his sanity.

A theme that highlights the contrast present between the representation of women in King Lear and White Devil is that generations of scholars have debated which of the sisters is worse. Goneril is certainly the strongest (McCarthy, 2012). With ideas always clear, unlike her father, she realizes that Cordelia loves Lear more. When the deterioration of mental condition takes place, she suggests Regan to face his father with more force. With relation to Webster's White Devil when the old king goes to live with her, she gives permission to the servants to treat him with rudeness. At her request to send away half of his hundred knights, he goes mad expecting better treatment by Regan (Nair, ...