King Lear By William Shakespeare Character Analysis Regan

Regan is Lear's second daughter. Regan is as villainous as Goneril. In the beginning, both Regan and Cornwall appear to be conscientious and reasonable people. Regan appears genuinely upset to learn of Edgar's betrayal. Thus, Regan initially appears as the more sympathetic and gentler sister. She greets her father with politeness, but her deportment is deceptive. Regan has no real reverence for her father and king, as her subsequent actions reveal, but Regan is more competent than Goneril at deception, more easily assuming the mantle of deference and politeness that a gracious daughter is expected to exhibit.

Like Goneril, Regan also proves herself to be unyielding and cruel. Regan's plucking of Gloucester's beard reinforces the point that she has no respect for age or rank. In contrast to her basic inhumanity, Regan shows some real humanity, though briefly, when Cornwall is wounded. Regan's concerns that Gloucester should be relieved of his misery indicates that she is cognizant of public opinion and concerned that her subjects support her actions.

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