Shakespeare employs animal imagery throughout King Lear to lend animal characteristics (perceived) to human characters. King Lear is described as a dragon for he is consumed with fiery rage at the inability of Cordelia to flatter him with praise. Goneril’s words of empty praise are described as venom of a serpent. Regan and Goneril’s betrayal earns them the title of pelican sisters or vultures. Once Lear reunites with Cordelia, they both desire to sing like birds but are imprisoned much like birds in a steel cage. In a lot of ways, humans and animals are portrayed are having the same and basic instincts that manifest in our truest nature.
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