What Is The Character Of King Lear In King Lear

Decent Essays

The play King Lear centers around the King and his daughters, following their journeys after the transfer of Lear’s power. However, at the end, it’s not Lear who comes out on top, nor any of his daughters, but instead Edgar. Edgar’s journey is filled with ups and downs throughout the play, as he adapts to new situations and faces new challenges. Although he is not the main character, Edgar deserves to live and become the ruler of Britain.

Edgar, as the legitimate son of Gloucester, was the rightful heir all along. He was manipulated by his “brother” Edmund and ran away, disguising himself as crazy man called “Poor Tom.” Edmund was jealous of his social status and craved power for himself. As a result, Edmund tricked Edgar into leaving. Before Edmund’s drove him away, Edgar had a high position in society:

The country gives me proof and precedent
Of Bedlam beggars who with roaring voices
Strike in their numbed and mortified bare arms
Pins, wooden pricks, nails, sprigs of rosemary,
And with this horrible object, from low farms,
Poor pelting villages, sheepcotes, and mills,
Sometime with lunatic bans, sometime with prayers,
Enforce their charity. “Poor Turlygod! Poor Tom!”
That's something yet. 'Edgar' I nothing am. (II, iii, 134)

While the majority of main characters were corrupted by power, Edgar remained balanced throughout the play. He had everything stripped away from him, clearly stating that he has been reduced to nothing. Edgar coming out on top and returning to a

Get Access