William Shakespeare 's King Lear

2043 WordsMay 18, 20179 Pages
Not everyone chooses to follow rules or traditions, many in fact would rather learn the hard way. Many rules and traditions may not always fit with everyone in society, some may even very much discriminate towards a group or even might not benefit them in anyways. In Shakespeare 's play, King Lear, there is an underlying tension between one’s way of living against how society set things up to work. Through the play, we are introduced to multiple characters, Edmund and Lear, who chooses to live life as they would want it to be even knowing the consequences that come with trying to achieve it. Edmund, a bastard, wants power and entitlement which society will not allow him to have whereas Lear wants to keep all his power after he gives up his…show more content…
In order to gain power and respect, one must first prove one’s loyalty towards the person of power. Edmund plots against his family from the moment the play begins to “have [Edgar’s] land”, “[their] father’s love”, and to “stand for all bastards” yet he puts on a mask to portray loyalty. Edmund plans this by telling Edgar to escape his father’s plan to kill him while giving Gloucester a fake letter that shows Edgar plotting against his father and “[…] if this letter speed And [his] invention thrive, Edmund the base, Shall top the ' legitimate. [he] grow, [he] prosper” (1.2.20-22). Edmund made his own brother believe that their father was after him and that he only wanted to help him escape yet, in reality, the boy everyone pitied is actually trying to steal the power and title from innocent Edgar by fooling his father into believing that Edmund is the good son that should be looked upon. Edmund masks his true feelings towards his brother and father to deceive them into believing that he was not just a bastard but rather the only person they could trust and the person who truly deserves the title and power to be the King. Edmund decided he was better off betraying his father by putting on a different mask to act as if he is baffled by his father treason in front of everyone else which will lead to Cornwall giving him his father’s title. According to David Gilbert, a psychologist, and writer of “Becoming the Bastard”, King Lear

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