King Lear - Seven Deadly Sins

1187 words 5 pages
King Lear: The Seven Deadly Sins

The Seven Deadly Sins In the play King Lear Shakespeare demonstrates the tragedy that can occur once humans allow themselves to be taken over by any one of the seven deadly sins.

Greed The sin of greed is perfectly exemplified in the character of Edmund. Throughout the play Edmund’s greed is the motivating factor behind all of the decisions that he makes. Edmund, as the illegitimate son of Gloucester plots against his brother in order to obtain his inheritance completely ignoring all familial responsibility in the pursuit of land and money. At the beginning of the play you see that he merely wants to take his brother’s inheritance but as greed gets the better of him he begins to plot against
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But as a direct result of Lear’s slothful nature and want to lead a carefree life his life instead becomes one filled with sorrow and grief. Shakespeare uses Lear as an example to illustrate that when a person decides to live a life of irresponsibility there will be consequences that follow. One could also suggest that Gloucester as well was lazy in that he took everything that Edmund told him at face value. Gloucester never made the attempt to find out whether or not Edmund’s reports were well founded. Gloucester is too lazy to go beyond the superficial evidence that Edmund presents before him and in doing so he is too quick to pass judgment upon his other son. This laziness also leads to his demise, much like Lear’s.

Gluttony
Gluttony is evident in the character of King Lear as well. When he first arrives at Goneril’s castle he immediately calls for dinner to be made for him without any further delay. Even when he is at somebody else’s home and he is guest he cannot wait for his food. He is impatient when it comes to being served his dinner. This is the only evidence of gluttonous behavior however.

Pride
King Lear’s fatal flaw that leads to his death is pride. Lear’s egoistical demand for total love from his daughters sets the stage for his downfall. At the beginning of the play Lear decides that it is the correct time for him to pass on his authority and divide his kingdom up amongst his three daughters and their husbands. When Lear’s favourite daughter

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