Literary Conflict in King Lear Student Activity

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for King Lear


Conflict in King Lear

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Activity Overview


Storyboarding is an excellent way to focus on types of literary conflicts.

Having students create storyboards that show the cause and effect of different types of conflicts strengthens analytical thinking about literary concepts. Have your students choose an example of each literary conflict and depict them using the storyboard creator. In the storyboard, an example of each conflict should be visually represented, along with an explanation of the scene, and how it fits the particular category of conflict.


Examples of Literary Conflict in King Lear

MAN vs. MAN

Goneril and Regan are initially allied with each other to gain as much power as possible; however, once Edmund comes into the picture, he drives a wedge between the sisters. As a result of his pledging his love to both women, Goneril poisons Regan. Once Regan dies, and Goneril’s husband Albany reveals he knows of her treachery, she kills herself.


MAN vs. SELF

King Lear realizes that he made a mistake in granting his kingdom and powers to Goneril and Regan while totally disinheriting Cordelia. He is so grief-stricken by this grave mistake that he gradually loses touch with reality, his wits only restored once Cordelia takes him in.


MAN vs. SOCIETY

Edmund, as an illegitimate son, has no claim to any of his father’s lands or property. He doesn’t feel it is fair that he gets less just because his father had an affair. However, because the laws of noble society dictate that illegitimate children are not legally eligible to receive an inheritance by their birthright, Edmund wants to change this by turning his father against his legitimate son, Edgar.


MAN vs. NATURE

When King Lear realizes the grave mistake he’s made by entrusting Goneril and Regan with power, this inner turmoil is mirrored in the raging storm that takes over the night. The storm threatens Lear’s health as he stands outside, tearing his hair and crying in despair.



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Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows at least three forms of literary conflict in King Lear.


  1. Identify conflicts in King Lear.
  2. Categorize each conflict as Character vs. Character, Character vs. Self, Character vs. Society, Character vs. Nature, or Character vs. Technology.
  3. Illustrate conflicts in the cells, using characters from the story.
  4. Write a short description of the conflict below the cell.
  5. Save and submit the assignment.

Literary Conflict Template

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