In my opinion, Goneril and Regan are the most villainous characters because they are so malicious without a reputable cause. They trick their father, who raised them graciously, into giving them reign over England. Then, even though Lear is weak, they seek his death because they believe him to be an annoyance in their lives. Lear asked for absolutely nothing from them except to travel and stay with his knights. He may have caused a ruckus when they would not allow him that, but that is his only offense, and it is completely justifiable. They force him out into a storm and then order his death. Lear may be growing old and losing his wits, but he was never malicious to his daughters. They have no legitimate reason to kill him. Also, what will they receive once the deed is done? Absolutely nothing because he has no power anymore. These sisters are so evil that they will set out to kill their own blood for the fact that he proves to be a small annoyance in their rise to complete power.
Also, Goneril may prove to be more villainous than Regan because she seeks her husband’s life. She wants to kill him to be with another man, Edmund. Albany, her husband, proves to me no aid towards her hunt for power because he condemns her for her actions against Lear. This is reason enough for Goneril to seek his life.
Edmund is high up on the list of villainous characters, but I am able to sympathize with him more than Goneril and Regan. Edmund deceives his brother, his father and basically everyone he comes in contact with. Yet, he has a reason to be bitter towards the society he lives him because he is excluded from it for being an illegitimate child. Also, Edmund deceives others to rise in power. This is extremely villainous, but it is a motive. I think Goneril and Regan to be more villainous than Edmund because at least there is a reason for his evil. What is Goneril and Regan’s reason?