King Lear and Ran
Saburo reminds Hidetora that when he himself has attained power through treachery, he should guard against the very same vice of treachery that may attack him and cause his downfall. Pride goes before a fall and Hidetora is foolish enough to mistake Saburo as challenging his authority by criticizing him. Evil has taken over the better conscience of Hidetora and he banishes his youngest son Saburo. Hidetora’s servant, Tango, is also banished along with Saburo because he is also perceived as a traitor who spoke against the patriarch Hidetora. Evil has banished the good men and surrounded Hidetora with his evil sons Taro and Jiro.
Taro’s evil is greed and power. He forces Hidetora to sign over power to him to further his ambition of control over the Ichimonji clan. Taro’s wife, Lady Kaede, is also evil. Her nature of evil is her thirst for revenge against her father-in-law because he killed her entire family. Evil has taken over her and triumphed over her heart. She broadens the rift between father and son as part of her evil revenge against Hidetora. Hidetora begins to lose his confidence in his sons and himself. He leaves Taro to seek out Jiro. Jiro is also evil. The nature of evil is power, greed and disrespect for filial piety. Jiro’s wife, Lady Sue, is also a victim of Hidetora’s previous evil of murder and treachery in his rise to power in the Ichimonji clan. Unlike her sister-in-law Lady Kaede, Lady Sue has a good force in her because she has forgiven the evil injustice done to her and she forgives her father-in-law Hidetora. Although she has encountered evil and struggled against it, the good has triumphed over evil in her and she does not think about evil actions like revenge. Lady Sue’s religion of Buddhism has helped her to allow good to guide her philosophies instead of evil.
Taro is killed by his younger brother’s general, Kurogane. Jiro then commits incest by appropriating his newly widowed sister-in-law, Lady Kaede. The evil of lust triumphs over Jiro although he already has a wife, Lady Sue. Lady Kaede’s evil natures of jealousy and ambition work against Lady Sue. Kurogane, whose evil nature permitted him to kill Taro, has changed into a good man. Jiro has been overcome by Lady Kaede’s evil and forgets his love for Lady Sue. He commands his general, Kurogane to kill Lady Sue. The good triumphs in Kurogane and he disobey’s Jiro’s command to kill Lady Sue. Kurogane is intelligent and sees that Lady Kaede has evil motives. His better nature forces him to confront her to force a confession out of her. When she admits her treachery, he kills her because he wants to kill evil. Lady Sue is eventually killed by Jiro’s other men.
The good son Saburo seeks out his sick father and they reconcile because the good forces allow the recognition of the past faults. The good has triumphed by facilitating healing with forgiveness. However, this triumph is short-lived as Jiro’s men eventually kill Saburo. Hidetaro is overwhelmed with grief and the force of this tragedy is the final blow that kills him. Where evil does not kill directly by physical force, the evil of a related action kills indirectly through sorrow. Evil has killed the entire ruling hierarchy of Ichimonji. However to those who view the reconciliation between Hidetaro and Saburo as the greatest redemption, then good can be said to have triumphed over the evil that started all