“Let’s exchange charity. I am no less in blood than thou art, Edmund. If more, the more th’hast wronged me. My name is Edgar, and thy father’s son.” (5.2, 168-170)
One theme that seems to present its self continuously throughout King Lear is the idea of power, and family struggle. This very concept shapes the story line and character values, which are deeply rooted in this play. Though I hate to admit I’m a sucker for teenage vampire romances, I had to fully acknowledge “The Originals” a spin off series of the Vampire Dairies, is immensely similar to Shakespeare’s King Lear. The very concept of a power struggles, family brawls, and romances take hold over the majority of the show. Paralleling the complex natures of character relationships in the text. I seemed to recognize this as I was feeding my Netflix addiction with a jar of Nutella by side. None the less, the first line seemed to present this idea very clearly. It opened with the quote “Over the course of my long life, I have come to believe that we are bound forever with those we share blood, and while we may not choose our family, that bond can be our greatest strength, or our deepest regret”. (http://www.crimsontear.com/the-originals/quotes-s1) The story line is about a family of original vampires. The first born brother Elijah is a kind hearted, well-mannered, individual who puts family above everything else. The next child Rebecca, is a short tempered, beautiful girl in search of love. Last there is Claus, who is the illegitimate child whom is quit cynical. He constantly struggles with abandonment issues and only wants to achieve love and acceptance of his family. He also has a ravenous unquenchable thirst for power.
After being away for 300 years they return to New Orlands to speak with a witch coven that is in war with the vampires of the area. Marcellus, a powerful vampire who dims himself “The King” of the French quarter, has a hold on everything and everyone magic. Being his very old friend Claus plans on going behind his back and taking back the power that was once his, and restoring his family’s old home. The characters Edger and Edmund are incredibly similar to the brothers Elijah and Claus. Both first born brothers are good natured and loving, and the illegitimate brothers are jealous and evil. Though the power dynamic between the two seemed to interest me the most. We all can fully see Edmund is a clear villain in the story, not only did he double cross his brother, but caused his father to lose his eyesight all for a power quest. I’d like to take an unexpected twist on this idea and maybe suggest he wasn’t as evil as we think. Maybe Edmund’s morals where sifted when he was constantly seen as the less important brother. His brother always stood in the spotlight, well he was a sad reminder of his father indiscretion. Perhaps, Edmund is simply a victim of circumstance. In The Originals Elijah accuses Claus of only caring about power and not family. Claus responds “My big brother… so you doubt my intentions, well I can’t say I’m surprised, standing beside the noble Elijah, how can I be anything but the lesser brother, a liar, a manipulator,… a Bastard.” Edmund’s charter was almost set up to be evil. So when Edmund’s ultimate demise finally came I could not help but feel sorry for him. I felt though he was never a good character, his only goal was to be loved and accepted as an equal. Or perhaps he is just a completely villainous character? Do you think he was set up for evil, or no matter what he was a power hungry character that only loved himself? For Edger was Edmund his greatest strength or deepest regret?