Shakespeare uses subplots to dramatize the action of the play and give spark on the contrast for the themes in King Lear. Sub plots usually improve the effect of dramatic irony and suspense. The latter, which is used in King Lear, gives us the understanding of the emotions of the characters in the play. This follows the parallelism between Gloucester and King Lear. In King Lear, the subplot of Gloucester corresponds to the major plot of King Lear. Both fathers have their own loyal legitimate child and their evil and disloyal child.
They are both honourable men, who have children that return to them in their time of need. Gloucester and Lear are both tormented, and their favoured child recovers their life. In the early beginning of the play, Cordelia says that her love for her father is the love between father and daughter, no more, no less. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave My heart into my mouth. I love your Majesty According to my bond, no more nor less. (Act 1 Scene 1 Pg.
13 lines 93-95) In response, King Lear goes into rage, and divides Cordelia's share of the kingdom between her two unworthy sisters. Such injustice is encountered by Gloucester in the subplot. O villain, villain! His very opinion in the letter! Abhorred villain! Unnatural, detested, brutish villain! Worse than brutish! Go, sirrah, seek him. I'll apprehend him.
Abominable villain! Where is he? (Act 1 Scene 2 Pg. 37 lines 75-78) Gloucester fooled by his bastard son Edmund, attacks Edgar and leaves Edmund to his evil plans. Shakespere an plays such as King Lear, illustrate the theme of good vs evil. Gloucester's death in the subplot is a parallel to that of King Lear's in the main plot. Though Gloucester does not have the tragic catastrophic death of King Lear.
King Lear's anguish led him to insanity while Gloucester is led to despair and attempts suicide. Before Gloucester's attempt at suicide, he realizes that he has wronged Edgar and condemns his blindness of Edmund's plans. My father, poorly led? World, world, O world! But that thy strange mutations make us hate thee, Life would not yield to age. (Act 4 Scene 1 Pg. 207 lines 10-12) This parallels Lear's death as he also condemns his daughter Cordelia. I have seen the day, with my good biting falchion I would have made 'em skip.
I am old now, And these same crosses spoil me. Who are you? Mine eyes are not o' the best, I'll tell you straight. (Act 5 Scene 3 pg. 317 lines 276-279) Both deaths run on the same train tracks, as King Lear and Gloucester die as better and wiser men than they showed themselves at first.
Throughout the play, Shakespeare uses the contrast through other characters such as Cordelia and Edgar, who hides in the beginning and then later reveal themselves to conquer and defeat evil forces. Subplots do make the play better all around and make the audience want to know more and enjoy it. Lear and Gloucester even are totally different people but live in a parallel world, they are both loyal fathers who have evil running in the family. Thus, at the end good overcomes evil. However, the parallelism that occurs in this play makes the play more dramatic and better.