What is the relationship between the plot and subplot of King Lear?
Shakespeare's King Lear is not the story of a single man who is betrayed by his daughters but a story about the universal tragedy of old age--how one generation is inexorably replaced by the generation it created through love or lust and nourished until adulthood. That is why there are two plots. Lear has daughters, Gloucester has sons. Both men find themselves out in the cold, stripped of everything they used to own, including their titles. But this is a universal theme. It has been going on among us Homo sapiens for something like seven thousand generations. Shakespeare shows this happening to aristocrats because that was the tradition in drama--but it happens to everybody. Parents typically love their children, but children do not necessarily care about their parents after they themselves are grown up and have developed adult interests in survival and procreation. In Measure for Measure, the Duke disguised as a friar tells the condemned prisoner Claudio:
Friend hast thou none;
For thine own...
(The entire section contains 693 words.)
check Approved by eNotes Editorial