Who is Regan in King Lear? Give an example from Act 2.

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King Lear divides his kingdom between his two eldest daughters, Goneril and Regan, after disowning his youngest daughter Cordelia in Act 1. Goneril, the eldest, is married to the Duke of Albany. Regan is married to the Duke of Cornwall. Lear specifies that he will live with each of the two daughters in turn along with one hundred knights as attendants. He will stay with one for a month and then go to live with the other for a month and continue this routine. Still in Act 1 he feels he is not being treated with due respect in Goneril's castle and storms out to go and live with Regan.

In Act 2, Scene 4, Lear has come to stay with Regan, but she and her husband are temporarily staying at the Earl of Gloucester's castle. She treats her father coldly, insisting that he return to Goneril for the remainder of the month. Then Goneril arrives and both sisters begin breaking their pledge to provide for Lear's one hundred knights. Finally they both agree that they will provide only for their father and not allow him a single follower. The King is outraged and griefstricken. He rides away with his followers, and Regan shows no pity for the old man who is now left homeless with a big storm brewing. She says to Gloucester:

O, sir, to wilful men

The injuries that they themselves procure

Must be their schoolmasters. Shut up your doors:

He is attended with a desperate train;

And what they may incense him to, being apt

To have his ear abused, wisdom bids fear.

This concludes Act 2.


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