Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)




It has been the purpose of this study to make a comparative analysis of the most significant characters in two selections of dramatic literature: Gordon Bottomley’s King Lear’s Wife and William Shakespeare’s King Lear. The significant characters are Goneril and Regan, the “evil influence” in both plays; the two Lears, the “neutral influence” in both plays; and Hygd and Cordelia in King Lear’s Wife and King Lear, respectively. Hygd and Cordelia are the “honorable influence” in the stories.

It has been the further purpose of this thesis to delete from both plays all subplots which do not directly pertain to the Lear story and to include both plays in this volume for the use of presentation before an audience. The edited version of both plays uses Bottomley’s King Lear’s Wife as a prologue to Shakespeare’s King Lear. It is hoped that the total effect will give a new significance to the motives of Lear’s daughters and to the character of King Lear Goneril and Regan are given justification, through Bottomley’s play, for their evil actions in Shakespeare’s play.





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