Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Noreen Barnes


Most scholarship regarding Shakespeare’s King Lear rests on the analysis of Lear and Cordelia, with the odd reference to the eldest daughter, Goneril, and brief homages to the Gloucester subplot. Lear’s middle daughter, Regan, is rarely mentioned at all, unless it is in conjunction with one of her more scholastically popular sisters. Within these marginalized moments of notice, Regan is routinely simplified as being just another sinful sister, fitting nicely into the accepted binaries of good and evil outlined within the play. Despite the fact that most binaries, like characters, are flawed, Regan has been given little to no chance to be absolved of her supposed offenses. By looking at Regan through the lenses of a theatrical character study and also as a subject of iconography within the realms of classical art, film, graphic novels, and the stage, I aim to prove that Regan, despite her consistent relegation to the shadows, is a three-dimensional character who has simply been dealt a difficult hand by her creator.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2014