William Shakespeare 's King Lear

858 WordsJun 16, 20154 Pages
Every good story has a hero and a villain. The villain is usually considered to be evil and have evil intentions, but often has good hidden somewhere deep inside them. This is definitely the case for the character of Edmund in Shakespeare’s play “King Lear.” Edmund betrays and deceives both his brother Edgar and his father Gloucester in order to achieve wealth and power. While his actions are corrupt and wrong, he should not be considered as entirely evil. His personality and his social status are contributing factors to his villainous actions. Throughout the play, Edmund never actually accused others of anything; instead, he planted false ideas in others and guided them towards making the accusations themselves. Also, Edmund’s attempt to save Lear and Cordelia as he is dying shows that he has some good and is not completely evil. Edmund’s actions make him seem evil, but his actions can be attributed to his personality and his social status. Edmund desires to be seen as an honorable man, and he desires wealth and power. Edmund is an illegitimate son to Gloucester as a result of Gloucester’s adultery, meaning that Edgar will inherit all of Gloucester’s wealth and power. Edmund decides that the only way he can become his father’s heir is to convince Edgar to leave and Gloucester to believe that Edgar is a villain. He creates a fake letter from Edgar, knowing that “If this letter speed, And my intention thrive, Edmund the base shall top the legitimate” (King Lear Act 1,1).

More about William Shakespeare 's King Lear

Open Document