Study Guide

Duke of Albany in King Lear

By William Shakespeare

Duke of Albany

Albany is Goneril's husband. Goneril walks all over him for the first half of the play, and even once he realizes his wife is a totally vicious, Albany still doesn't do much to stop her. 

Albany is a force for good, but his role in King Lear suggests that good is often a weak force that can't really stand up to evil. Albany leads his armies into battle against the King and the French soldiers even though he thinks the opposing forces are in the right. And he ultimately can't confront Edmund (who's been sleeping with his wife) alone—he brings in Edgar to do his fighting for him. It looks like Albany may be left ruling the kingdom after Lear's death, possibly with Edgar's help... and given what we've seen of Albany, this does not bode well for the kingdom.

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