Edmund Gloucester Character Traits

1309 WordsAug 19, 20176 Pages
Edmund Gloucester Character Analysis William Shakespeare’s King Lear is a tragic play about two fathers, King Lear and Gloucester, who are both growing old and in there old age they are taken over and punished by the very children they have raised. One of the main antagonists in the story, Edmund, is Gloucester’s younger bastard son. In the story Edmund, who wants his brother Edgar’s inheritance, devises a plan to pit his father and brother against one another in order to benefit himself. He then begins an ambitious rise to power filled with cunning, cruelty, betrayal, lust, and conflicting interests and emotions. Edmund with his Machiavellian, ruthlessly power hungry, and complex character is one of Shakespeare’s most iconic…show more content…
To thy law My services are bound” (Shakespeare 1.2.1-2). Edmund then writes a fake letter deceiving his father into believing that Edgar is plotting to kill him while simultaneously, deceiving his brother into running away from home and staging a fake fight that makes him look like a savior to both his father and his brother, who don’t even suspect a thing. From very early on Edmund demonstrates that he is a master manipulator who can execute not only premeditated plans with ease but also quick witted improvisations as well. Edmund (also) doesn’t mind lying and is very skilled at it, able to string convincing lies together in rapid succession, while evoking convincing emotion to make his deceptions all the more believable. His effectively cold calculations are nothing short of brilliant. In one fell swoop he has managed not only to get his brother’s inheritance, but also to banish his brother, and win the trust and loyalty of his father. But even this will not be enough to satisfy Edmund on his ambitious climb to the very pinnacles of power. In the middle of the play Gloucester decides to help Lear which his daughters and Cornwall have strictly forbidden, but he needs someone to distract Cornwall, so he tells Edmund that he is going to help Lear and also tells him
Open Document