Shakespeare’s King Lear has borne a natural comparison to “Succession” because it centers around a king attempting to divide his kingdom. He and Lear have a lot in common — for one thing, they both possess a bootstrap mentality. The central point of discord between Logan and his children is that his wealth has made them out of touch with reality. This issue frequently bubbles to the surface, like during their hunting trip in season 2 when Logan antagonizes his sons for not knowing the price of a gallon of milk.
Like Logan, Lear doesn’t appreciate it when people (particularly his own children) blame the world or their parents for their problems rather than taking responsibility for their own actions. Lear laments: “When we are sick in fortune, often the surfeit of our own behavior, we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars”
Then there’s the dog pound. King Lear disinherited one of his daughters after pitting them against each other, and Logan apparently took on a very similar philosophy when it came to disciplining his own children. His eldest son Connor sheds some light on the subject at Tom’s bachelor party when asked why Logan’s youngest son, Roman, was sent to military school.
“Dad’s theory was you got two fighting dogs, you send the weak one away,” he recounted. “You punish the weak one. Then everyone knows the hierarchy, then everyone’s happy. So, away he went.”
Logan and Lear might have a lot in common, but Cox thinks critics are comparing him to the wrong Shakespearean king. He and Macbeth have a lot in common — ambitious men from Scotland that clawed their way to the top, letting fear make them powerful and ambition make them countless enemies — but the seasoned stage actor sees another side of Logan Roy.