Please describe some similarities and differences between King Lear and Gloucester in King Lear by Shakespeare.    

King Lear and Gloucester are similar in that they have both been betrayed and deprived of power by their children. They are different in that Lear willingly gave away his power, whereas Gloucester's was taken away from him by force.

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The story of Gloucester and his two sons runs in parallel to the main story of Lear and his three daughters: essentially, the Gloucester story is a B-plot which helps to further illuminate the A-plot. This is a structure currently found today in everything from movies to episodic television, and it works for Shakespeare, too. Because the stories are analogous, the similarities and differences between them make us think more closely about what has gone wrong.

Lear is a very elderly man, and he is convinced that it is his "pelican daughters" who are entirely at fault for their betrayal of him. However, he is also beginning to suffer from senility, which develops throughout the play, and he is very susceptible to flattery. Because he does not know his children well, he expects that his favorite daughter, Cordelia, will tell him what he wants to hear. But he does not realize how strong her moral backbone is, much as he does not realize that if he gives power willingly to his other...

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