Tuesday, March 29, 2011

King Lear is a narcissistic father

Think about it.

He rounds up his daughters for a fake, saccharine display of love.

The two older daughters, the Golden Children, also narcissists, oblige, and provide meaningless protestations of excessive affection.

The third daughter, the Scapegoat, refuses to play the game. She says she loves her father as is her duty as a daughter and a subject.

So he discards her. The Golden Girls get the inheritance. However, being narcissists themselves, they have no more need of him, so they now discard him. The Scapegoat is the only one who cares and comes to his rescue, although she has a wonderful husband who didn't care about the dowry and loved her all the more for being cast off like that.

And he so easily discards the "evil" daughters now, the ones he loved! He doesn't care when they die, he doesn't suffer because they are immoral, he only notices they are "ungrateful" towards him!

The outcome? They all die. That's Dysfunctional Family for you. Pure tragedy.


  1. OMG!! OMG!!! Okay please pardon the overly effusive internetism. i've come to the conclusion recently that my mentally ill father is actually a narcissist. I just cannot believe that you posted about King Lear. My father would sit us down at the dining table and roar through parts of King Lear. He was King Lear; my sister and I the ungrateful daughters. He identified really heavily with the mighty King and enacted an entire emotional drama based on his King Learness!

    That was when he wasn't busy leading " his people" just wanting to be Abraham himself for a day.

    Do you happen to know whether hoarding is associated with narcissism? Like an angry there will be hell to pay if you attempt to throw that out and of course I've saved every tin can and newspaper since 1976 sort of hoarding. The concept that this could be a problem is unfathomable.

    I do hope you read this comment even though this is an old post.

  2. Wow. Yes Shakespeare knew a thing or two. I often had King Lear quoted to me by my mother, who acted out my dad's narcissism for him. Before I knew the play better, I assumed King Lear was the the hero/god of the play.

    I have to deal with lots of sentimental posturing and sickly sweet declarations of love for our father, issued at regular intervals by my two narc siblings.

    I'm more like Cordelia- I love him and that's that. He of course, prefers the sweet sickly kind of sentiment.

    I keep my distance these days, as I don't want to end up like Lear's youngest. However I am NOT non-contact, and I am concerned that I will have to be in closer proximity once my dad, who is in his eighties now, begins to get frailer. This scares me.


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