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King Lear | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Professor Regina Buccola of Roosevelt University explains the main characters in William Shakespeare's play King Lear.

King Lear | Characters

Character Description
King Lear Lear is king of Britain, but he is tired and ready to step down at the end of a long life. Read More
Edmund Edmund is Gloucester's younger, illegitimate son. He is a scheming manipulator. Read More
Edgar Edgar is Gloucester's older, legitimate son. He is loyal to his father. Read More
Earl of Gloucester Gloucester is a loyal nobleman and the father of Edgar and Edmund. Read More
Cordelia Cordelia, Lear's youngest daughter, is sincere and saintly. Read More
Goneril Goneril is Lear's eldest daughter. She is power-mad and unscrupulous. Read More
Regan Regan is Lear's middle daughter. She is treacherous and cold. Read More
Curan Curan is a gentleman of Gloucester's house.
Duke of Albany Goneril's husband is measured and careful.
Duke of Burgundy The Duke of Burgundy wants to marry Cordelia but retreats when Lear removes her dowry.
Duke of Cornwall The Duke of Cornwall, Regan's husband, is a violent, self-interested traitor.
Earl of Kent The Earl of Kent serves the king loyally even when banished.
First Servant Cornwall's servant attacks his master in an effort to keep him from blinding Gloucester.
The Fool The Fool is the king's companion and guide.
King of France The King of France is Cordelia's suitor. He shows his true love for Cordelia by marrying her even though Lear has removed her dowry.
Oswald Oswald is Goneril's steward.
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