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Edmund In Julius Caesar Essay

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Edmund “came saucily to the world” (Shakespeare 1.1.21) through Gloucester’s liaison with a woman other than his wife, causing Edmund to be an illegitimate son lacking any real position within the family. Gloucester admits, “I have so often blushed to acknowledge him that now I am brazed to it” (1.1.9-11). Although Gloucester claims that Edgar is “no dearer in [his] account” (1.1.20), the constant praising of him proves to Edmund that he is nothing but a “whoreson [that] must be acknowledged” (1.1.23). In addition to Edmund being labeled as a “bastard” (1.2.17), there is a clear distance between him and Gloucester, as Edmund was raised elsewhere, making him less of a true son and Gloucester less of a father figure to him. Shakespeare allows Edmund to exist outside the normal framework of his society as he does not have the same mentality as…show more content…
Edmund considers himself an intrusion within Gloucester’s family, with no true placement, as his father continuously refers to him as a bastard, confirming his inability to inherit what Edgar can. Edmund decides, “Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit;/ All with me’s meet that I can fashion to fit” (1.2.180-181). He desires the recognition denied to him by his status as a bastard, causing him to wonder “why bastard? Wherefore base?” (1.2.5) He is required to accept the conventional laws that refrain him from his rights, due to his illegitimacy. Despite his lower status, he believes to be above all others within the kingdom, as he is a product of the most powerful emotion-love, rather than those produced of duty “within a dull, stale, tired bed” (1.2.13), such as Edgar. Edmund is the only character within this play to envision himself as a victim as well as a villain when he states, "Now, God’s, stand up for the bastards…as if we were villains of necessity” (1.2.22, 2.1.121-122). Edmund’s accumulation of anger and neglect drives his ambition to prove to himself, his father, and the Kingdom that he can be as good
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