Oswald, Goneril's steward, is a willing accomplice to Goneril's plotting and a henchman without honor. Oswald adds to this negative perception by failing to defend himself against Kent's attack and by lying that he spared Kent's life because Kent is an old man. These events paint Oswald as weak and dishonest. Oswald is, as Kent suggests, a parasite who thrives off Goneril's evil machinations and who makes her deceit easier to maintain. As Goneril's servant, he accepts her orders without question. Although he is warned, he refuses to abandon his orders to murder Gloucester, since obedience and position are everything to this servant. Oswald's sense of obedience is so great that he even asks the man who has killed him to deliver Goneril's letter to Edmund.