King Lear

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Act 1, Scene 4: Goneril’s and Lear’s Points of View


At this point in the play (Act 1, Scene 4), Lear and Goneril have two different ideas about the current state of affairs.

What are their respective concerns or frustrations?


Lear is concerned he relinquished too much of his power, while Goneril is concerned that Lear apportioned his kingdom too soon.


Lear worries that his knights are no longer properly in service to him, while Goneril is anxious that her servants will defect to Lear.


Lear is anxious that Goneril and Oswald are plotting against him, while Goneril suspects that Lear intends to reclaim her portion of the kingdom.


Lear fears that his supposed subordinates have recently been disrespecting him, while Goneril takes issue with Lear’s rage and his knights’ carousing and fighting.


Lear is afraid that even his fool thinks he has made an unsound decision, while Goneril worries that Lear’s fool will convince him to invite Cordelia back home.