Character Role Analysis
Come on: the play is called King Lear. Lear's the guy. Lear is the central character, the title character, and the guy who defines the action of the play (it is his retirement that sparks all of this hullabaloo). Most of the other characters align themselves either with Lear (Kent, Gloucester, the Fool, Edgar, Cordelia) or against him (Goneril, Regan, Edmund, Cornwall), and he goes through a classic growing-as-a-person stage as he realizes his error and reunites with Cordelia.