How are Gonreil, Glouscester, Regan, Edgar and King Lear's actions depicted as the seven sins in King Lear?I found some very interesting things about this play ^^. One of which was that often the...

How are Gonreil, Glouscester, Regan, Edgar and King Lear's actions depicted as the seven sins in King Lear?

I found some very interesting things about this play ^^. One of which was that often the play is also given animalistic features. Anthropromorphism is also very prominent. One of the ideas that I've been trying to study is how this play relates itself to the bible and the human nature's desires and it's ability to be so easily reeled into temptations.

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lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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According to the Bible, the seven deadly sins are: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony. In King Lear, greed, pride and envy are prominent character flaws in most of the characters you mention. King Lear himself is guilty of pride. At the beginning of the play, his elevated opinion of himself results in him conducting his foolish “who loves me more” contest as well as prematurely turning his kingdom over to his two unworthy daughters, Gonreil and Regan, and their equally unworthy husbands. These four people are guilty of greed and envy.

Edmund is also guilty of greed and envy, and tries to trick both his father and his brother. These tragic human flaws, related to the seven deadly sins, bring down all of these characters. The only redeeming part of this play is Cordelia, who loves her father with no strings attached, not because he deserves her love, but because her love is a pure, unconditional love, much like the love of Christ. It is a love that mankind does not deserve because of his sin, but a love that God exhibits towards man anyway. The Bible says, “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for our sins” – so mankind did not deserve this type of unconditional love, no more than King Lear did, and yet Cordelia loved him this way. Even though she is a woman, Cordelia is a Christ-like character.

Not everyone agrees with this interpretation of the play, I might point out, but you asked for a Biblical connection. You can read more about it here on eNotes.

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