- Created by: Pip Dan
- Created on: 20-09-17 16:25
The Duke of Albany is Goneril's husband and Lear's son-in-law. His role in the first part of the play is very passive and although towards the end of the play he becomes more proactive, he is the one to arranges the leadership for Britain, Albany's actions are never completely effective. He is force for good in the play but this suggests that morality is actually a weak force.
Throughout the first half of the play, indeed all the action before the return of Cordelia, Albany refuses to take a side in the conflict. He never suggests total loyalty to his wife or his father-in-law and is an absent character. he is never involved in the cruel actions of the sisters, Cornwall and Edmund. Albany never goes against Lear and does not attempt to secure his own hold on his power. However, he does not stand up to the others when they do.
However, once the French forces land in Britain Albany becomes a far more proactive character. Oswald puts it most simply that 'never a man so changed'. There is a strong threat that he might be displaced from his position, by both the French and Edmund. So, fuelled by self-preservation, Albany chooses to act. He decides on loyalty to Lear but by seeing the French as an invading force he chooses to lead the army against them, promising mercy to Lear and Cordelia. Albany is skilled enough to win the battle and shows his courage in arresting Edmund for treason. Although it is eventually Edgar who defeats his brother, Albany does show himself to be a far more proactive character. He is one of the few characters left alive at the…