King Lear Essay | A Comparison of "Old Goriot" and "King Lear"

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A Comparison of "Old Goriot" and "King Lear"

Summary: A look at the similarities and differences between Balzac's "Old Goriot" and Shakespeare's "King Lear."
"How sharper than a serpent's tooth

it is to have a thankless child."

(Act 1 scene 4 lines 282-3)

This quotation may have been taken from "King Lear" but it is also very apt for Balzac's novel "Old Goriot." Both stories tell of misplaced loyalties, thankless children and self-knowledge, which comes too late. Both eponymous characters surrender their fortunes to their daughters, excepting Cordelia in "King Lear", only to find themselves outcasts. Old Goriot starts out as a wealthy retired merchant, but ends the tale a pauper in a pauper's grave. He lived in a boarding house moving progressively down in room size and luxury the longer he is there. Old Goriot becomes the butt of all the jokes at the boarding house after Madame Vauquer fails to seduce him into becoming her next husband. Goriot has only one passion in his life and...

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This section contains 1,996 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Student Essay on A Comparison of "Old Goriot" and "King Lear"
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