women and other animals

A theme surrounding King Lear is that of women in power. Throughout the play, when either Regan, Goneril, or Cordelia was in power or undermined the power of men, they were characterized as animals or monsters. Thought to be too emotional or just evil in general. Yet men in power were simply viewed as powerful, intelligent, and good. Even when Edmund betrayed both his brother and father, he still gained positive attention from Goneril and Regan who enjoyed his sort of “bad guy” behavior. This pattern is very familiar as still women in power are a taboo topic in most societies. Still viewed as too emotional to rule/lead. This doesn’t have to relate to extreme positions of power necessarily either such as president or queen, but a mother leading her household or a woman as manager. This is a persistent motif in the story, perhaps to show who is deserving of authority and power. And when the women in the story end up powerless/dead it reinforces that they are too corrupt or emotional for that power.