The Lion in Winter Themes

Anthony Harvey
This Study Guide consists of approximately 66 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Lion in Winter.
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Dysfunctional Family

The central thematic focus of The Lion in Winter is on the interpersonal dynamics of members of a dysfunctional family. Goldman's play is essentially a story about dysfunctional family writ large. Although the members of the family are kings, queens, and princes, their complex and troubled emotional attachments to one another are represented as an amplified version of the same kinds of problems people experience in modern families. As is often the case with twenty-first-century families, the Plantagenet family in The Lion in Winter experience such problems as jealousy, sibling rivalry, parental neglect, parental favoritism, marital infidelity, and factionalism among family members. The political implications of the characters' interpersonal dynamics merely demonstrate these basic emotional relationship issues on a grand scale.

Political Maneuvering

While the characters in The Lion in Winter are motivated by deeply personal feelings about each other, they are also engaged in real power...

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This section contains 766 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Lion in Winter Study Guide
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Drama for Students
The Lion in Winter from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.