Question: What is your idea of Goneril physically, intellectually, and morally?
Answer: The picture that presents itself to my mind is that of a tall, strong-looking woman, with bold black eyes, and a
firm, scornful expression in the cast of the features; of a
woman whose movements are quick and decided, but skilful,
whose appearance indicates a man's power of endurance,
a man's will, and a man's feeling of superiority, with a
woman's power to hide her feelings, and to gain her ends
Mr. Hudson does not seem to accord to her
the wisdom necessary to form complicated plots. The play
leaves quite a different impression on me. Her close observation and cunning, her prompt action, and Albany's reluctance to come to an open issue with her, seem to me to indicate a peculiarly active intellect not inventive, it is
true, nor imaginative, but prompt to obey the impulses of a wicked heart.
Morally, Goneril's character possesses scarcely a redeeming feature. Formed for all evil, nourished in
the deceitful atmosphere of a court, deprived of the holy
influence of a mother, partaking of the nature and following
the example of a father whose only rule of action was his
own passion, what good could we expect from such a
How to cite this article:
Williams, Maggie. Shakespeare Examinations. Ed. William Taylor Thom, M. A. Boston: Ginn and Co., 1888. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/kinglear/examq/mten.html >.