Lear is the protagonist King of Britain who is reduced from a King wielding absolute power to a mad
old man because he was willing to believe in empty flattery.
eldest daughter who professed a deep love for her father and was rewarded by receiving half his Kingdom. She betrays her father and plots his murder. Like her sister Regan, she is self-centered and there
is a suggestion that she is an unnatural woman.
DUKE OF ALBANY
husband, he is a mild man who is dominated by his wife. However, he grows in stature throughout the play and eventually stands up to his wife when he can no longer stomach her excesses.
He becomes the positive force for virtue at the end of the story.
Lear’s second daughter, she is a willing accomplice to her older sister’s plot to destroy their father. The pair makes a blood-thirsty evil couple, blinded by power and lust for Edmund.
DUKE OF CORNWALL
He is a brutal man, savage and sadistic. He does his best to destroy Gloucester and King Lear.
King Lear’s youngest daughter who genuinely loves her father, she refuses to flatter him, and this leads to her tragic death. Although they are reconciled towards the end of the play, she is the centre of the tragic story.
Perhaps King Lear’s most loyal servant, he stays with him throughout his misfortunes and acts as the King’s conscience.
EARL OF KENT
Another loyal friend and supporter of King Lear, he is banished when he supports Cordelia. He disguises himself as a servant and calls himself Caius in order to stay close to his King.
Goneril’s steward, he too is a willing accomplice to Goneril’s plans. He holds an important position in Goneril’s household.
KING OF FRANCE
He marries Cordelia and supports his wife when she tries to rescue her father.
DUKE OF BURGUNDY
A one-time suitor for Cordelia, he rejects her when she loses her dowry.