Modern Interpretation of Act One of Goneril, Reagan and Cordelia
My father has asked us, we three sisters, to express our love for him, to take our stake of his land. Death knocks at his door, we know and I fear his amplified love for Cordelia will diminish me. I must convince him otherwise in order to claim my land.
I love you more than life itself. This is the jest of my attempt to please him. He assumes a pitiful yet contented expression upon his face and I know I have succeeded. He believes me to be honest with him, yet mine husband knows I am the depth of cruelty itself. We understand the corruption that wealth beseeches, and pray to embrace it.
My young fool of a sister, Cordelia – the honoured little wretch, she refuses our great king, with her arrogance and dreaming. Money does not come from love it comes through deceit. Oh, she has but failed to love him the way I do. He is furious – thank the lord above. Her protector amongst the ranks –
has been banished – the fool cannot hold his tongue. Father’s loyalty usually
holds the highest, but now with his failing mind, it seems ruling holds stead.
My husband and I are the only ones capable of ruling over the lands. He will
know this. Cordelia is thrown to marriage, pitiful as the King of France is –
they deserve each other with all this travesty of love. He believes he loves
her despite her lack of dowry - it is pathetic and the King knows it. Kent
My youngest sister stands before me, bidding us farewell. She knows nothing of wealth and honour. She will betray her husband through idiocy – she knows not how to lead a people – only guide them with idealism. I tell her, she must be obedient to her husband, and not stray from loyalty as she hath done with our great father.
Now the traitor and her wiling slave of a husband have left, Reagan and I study our lands of wealth. I can sense her greed – an ambition we both harbor. We shall please our lord the king as best we can until he perishes, although I have no wish to please anyone but myself. My own means are the most important as of late. I must protect my heritage, with my husband, as weak as he is, by my side.