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Edmund is often presented as an attractive, charismatic character, and his magnetism draws the attention of both Goneril and Regan, bringing about a love triangle that will lead to the deaths of both sisters.Yet the audience is always aware of Edmund’s potential for evil.
He is accustomed to exercising his will freely, he is gullible, ...
is, at its heart, a play about the relationships between two powerful men – King Lear and the Earl of Gloucester – and their ungrateful children.
Nevertheless, they are clearly mistrusted by their younger sister Cordelia, who asks ‘Why have my sisters husbands, if they say / They love you all? After her banishment, Cordelia commends her father to her sisters’ ‘professèd bosoms’ (1.1.272) – a clear sign that we are not meant to take their words at face value.
Kent shares Cordelia’s lack of trust, hoping that Goneril and Regan’s ‘large speeches’ (1.1.184) will be matched by their deeds.
He schemes against both his father and his half-brother, Edgar.
We are told of his status as Gloucester’s illegitimate son at the beginning of Act 1, Scene 1, and in Act 1, Scene 2, we are given a clear picture of the resentment that Edmund feels at not being his father’s legitimate heir.
The play’s chief irony is that the children that Lear and Gloucester believe to be ungrateful are actually loyal, while those whom they believe to be loyal are plotting against them.
Goneril and Regan, King Lear’s two elder daughters, and Edmund, Gloucester’s illegitimate son, are the children who turn against their elderly fathers.
"Character is destiny" is a dominant theme that often appears in Shakespearean tragedy.
In the play, King Lear this concept is portrayed through the characters of King Lear, Gloucester, and Edmund.