• Created by: Pip Dan
  • Created on: 20-09-17 16:28

The Duke of Cornwall is the husband of Regan and Lear's second son-in-law. He is a somewhat minor character in the play, not playing a major role and getting killed off before the climax. Cornwall; nonetheless, is a construct through which the ideas of power, violence, marriage and injustice are explored.

Arguably he represents abuse of power at its worst. Lear also shows this but not to the same extent. He gets angry and is prone to making poor decisions but Cornwall's anger has a sadistic edge. He enjoys causing other people pain, and he likes being in power because then nobody is allowed to stop him. He orders Kent to be put in the stocks and gouges out Gloucester two ideas. He uses his power as a tool to achieve these violent ends. It is a comment on the chaos in society which is unfolding in the play, whilst also exploring this darker side of…


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