In Act I Scene I Kent tries to change King Lear’s mind about disowning his daughter Cordelia. “Royal Lear, Whom I have ever honored as my king, Loved as my father, as my master followed, as my great patron thought on In my prayer” Kent tries to use some flattery to subdue the King’s anger towards Cordelia. Kent continues to talk to the King and say that he should value Cordelia’s honesty more so than Regan and Goneril’s lies. With King Lear disowning his favorite daughter Cordelia and banishing Kent from his kingdom he has rid the play of the two people that could ave his kingdom from his power hungry daughters Regan and Goneril.
In Act I Scene ii Edmund receives a letter from his brother that mentions if their father was dead Edmund would inherit half of the father’s fortune even though he is a bastard. The father, Gloucester walks into the room while Edmund Is rereading his brother’s letter. Edmund doesnt want his father to read the letter until he knows his brother’s intentions, but Gloucester sees Edmund try to hide the letter and asks his bastard of a son what he Is hiding. After Edmund fruitlessly tries to not let his father’s eyes read he letter Gloucester reads the letter and becomes furious.
With Gloucester furious at his son Edgar, Edmund can now pit these two together for his own personal gain. In Act I Scene iv King Lear is living with his daughter Goneril and her husband Albany. Goneril is fed up with her father acting like he is a proper king still. King Lear gave up all his kingly powers and only kept the title of King. King Lear is approached by Kent in disguise, Kent Just wants to serve his king and he can’t do that unless he is in disguise. King Lear allows this disguised Kent to serve him.
After Kent is granted his ish to serve King Lear Oswald comes in and is rude to the king upsetting Lear. After this happens Kent proves just how loyal he is by tripping Oswald. Then the Fool comes In and calls King Lear a fool for splitting up his kingdom. For you know, nuncle, The hedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so long, That It’s had it head bit off by It young. So out went the candle and we were left darkling. ” This Is the fool telling the King that he has basically given his daughters motherly power of him.
In Act II Scene i Edmund convinces his father even more that Edgar is plotting to kill him for money nd power and that Edgar is evil. Edmund hears their father coming closer so he acts like he is trying to stop his brother from killing his father very loudly but very quietly he whispers to Edgar to leave the house. Here stood he in the dark, his sharp sword out, Mumbling of wicked charms, conjuring the moon to stand’s auspicious mistress” Edmund even goes as far as to say his brother Edgar is a believer of black magic.
This infuriates Gloucester so much that he sends out pictures of Edgar and offers an award to the one that catches him. When Cornwall and his wife Regan show up at Gloucester’s house to seek advice Cornwall praises Edmund In his efforts and offers all of his resources to Gloucester so that the capture of Edgar Is sped up. Now that this has all happened Edmund Is closer to reaching his goal. In Act II Scene II Kent confronts Oswald and tries to start a fight with him, Oswald refuses and makes a slave, strike,” once Oswald refuses once again he starts screaming even louder.
After a few minutes of this back and forth Gloucester, Cornwall, and Regan come out asking what is happening. Kent says that Oswald has offended him and wants to fight im. Cornwall questions Oswald about what he did to offend Kent and Oswald swears he hasn’t done anything to offend Kent. Kent then continues to say that he just really doesn’t like Oswald’s face or anyone else here. This upsets Cornwall causing Kent to be thrown into the stocks. In Act II Scene iv King Lear arrives with his Fool and sees that Kent has been put in the stocks. “Ha! Makest thou this shame thy pastime? Kent then explains that it was the Kings daughter and son-in-law that have thrown him into the stocks.
King Lear refuses to believe it so he asks to speak to Regan and Cornwall who send back that they aren’t feeling well from the traveling they did. King Lear understands that this is a lie and demands to speak to them at once. Regan and Cornwall agree to speak with King Lear and Cornwall admits to throwing the Kings messenger into the stocks. Goneril then shows up to retrieve her father King Lear. The King refuses to go back with her until he’s allowed all one hundred of his knights and he gets an apology.
Goneril says no and so the King assumes that he can go stay with Regan and Regan says no and that she won’t take in single knight. With the two daughters doing this they are belittling the King and making him feel like a worthless old man. In Act Ill Scene i Kent goes after the King and runs into one of the King’s servants. “l know you. Where is the King? ” The Gentleman tells Kent that the King is off cursing everything and everybody wishing that the earth would fall into the sea or that the sea would flood the earth and send the world back into primal chaos.
Kent tells the servant about the French spies and the feud between the Albany and Cornwall and that the French are close to declaring pen war on the kingdom (l assume it’s England. ) Kent also tells the servant to give Cordelia a ring. With this little scene I can feel a lot of conflict coming. In Act Ill Scene ii the Fool tries to get the King to apologize to his daughters and ask for shelter, “O nuncle, court holy water in a dry house is better than this rainwater out o’ door. Good nuncle, in, and ask thy daughters blessing. Here’s a night pities neither wise man nor fool. ” Kent then finds where the King and the Fool are.
Kent urges the King to take shelter in a nearby hut while he goes and he’ll make Regan and Cornwall be polite. The King eventually agrees to take shelter in the nearby hut. The King and Kent go to the hut and the Fool stays back and makes a speech about how the Kings daughters will be eventually punished for their actions. In Act Ill Scene iv Kent ushers the King into the hut but the King insist that the Fool goes in first but Gloucester’s son Edgar is inside the hut acting like he is being chased by the devil, “Away! The foul fiend follows me! Through the sharp hawthorn blows the cold wind.
Hum! Go to thy cold bed and warm thee. ” The way Edgar is acting intrigues the king so much that when Gloucester arrives at the hut to take the King back to his house against Cornwall’s wishes the King refuses initially. After both Gloucester and Kent plead with the King he finally agrees to go back to Gloucester’s house only if he can bring Edgar. Gloucester still has not realized that this man the King wants to bring to the house is his son he has disowned. In Act Ill Scene vi King Lear holds a mock trial for his daughters Goneril and Regan in which Edgar, the Fool and, Kent are all Judges.
After Kent that he needs to take his master the King to Dove, “Take up thy master. If thou houldst dally half an hour, his life, with thine and all that offer to defend him. ” Gloucester’s warning is saying that if Kent doesn’t take the King to Dover right away the King will be killed and so will of his supporters. In Act Ill Scene vii Gloucester returns to his house not knowing that his son Edmund has betrayed him to Cornwall.
The servants bring Gloucester in to Cornwall and Regan roughly, “What mean your graces? Good my friends, consider You are my guests. Do me no foul play, friends? Gloucester is confused as to why he is being treated this way. Cornwall is so furious ith Gloucester’s treachery that he gouges out Gloucester’s eyes. One of the servants tries to stop Cornwall from gouging out the second eye by challenging him to a fght. The servant is winning the fght and Regan grabs a sword and stabs the servant in the back killing him. After the servant is killed Cornwall gouges out Gloucester’s second eye and throws him out of the house to wander to Dover. The remaining servants want to help Gloucester reach Dover so they search for Gloucester’s son Edgar.
In Act IV Scene i an old man is leading Gloucester to Dover when they come cross Edgar disguised as “Poor Tom. ” Edgar sees his father approaching and is conflicted, he doesn’t know if he should reveal his true self or pretend to be this beggar still, “How should this be? Bad is the trade that must play fool to sorrow, angering itself and others. ” Edgar decides to not reveal himself. Gloucester sends the Old Man ahead to fetch some clothes for Edgar so that Edgar can lead him to Dover to throw himself off of a cliff. Edgar agrees to take Gloucester to Dover when he’s asked to do so.
In Act IV Scene ii Oswald tells Goneril Albanys reaction to the news of he invading French and that Goneril was on her way was the opposite of what they thought it shouldVe been. Goneril reveals that she wants to be with Edgar instead of her “boring” husband Albany. “Our wishes on the way May prove effects. Back, Edmund, to my brother. Hasten his musters and conduct his powers. ” Before Goneril sends Edmund off, she bestows upon him a kiss. Albany walks into the room and Goneril almost immediately calls her husband a coward because he hasn’t prepared his troops to fght the French.
Albany Just scoffs at Goneril and calls her a demon ecause of the way she treated her own father. In Act IV Scene vii Edgar and Gloucester are on their way to the cliff so that Gloucester can Kill himself by Jumping off of the cliff. Edgar leads Gloucester to a field and tells Gloucester that it is the cliff. Gloucester attempts to dive off and he lands on his face, Edgar goes up to him and pretends that it was the devil who threw him off the cliff and that it’s a miracle that he’s alive. Gloucester gets up and King Lear wanders up to them insanely delirious.
Some gentlemen fetch King Lear and take him to his daughter Cordelia. Then Oswald inds Edgar and his father, Oswald steps forward to kill Gloucester and Edgar stops him from getting any closer. This upsets Oswald, “Wherefore, bold peasant, Darest thou support a published traitor? Hence, Lest that th’ infection of his fortune take Like hold on thee. Let go his arm. ” Edgar and Oswald get into a battle and Edgar kills him. Edgar searches Oswald’s body and finds Goneril’s letter to Edmund. In Act IV Scene vii the Doctor has drugged King Lear so that he can sleep off his insanity.
The Doctor tells Cordelia that the King is ready to be awoken and that it is best that she is the irst to speak to him. When King Lear wakes up he thinks that Cordelia is a spirit from and Kent. Cordelia tells him that he is still in his kingdom. King Lear knows most of what is happening but can’t remember the details. “Be your tears wet? Yes, faith. I pray, weep not. If you have poison for me, I will drink it. I know you do not love me, for your sisters have, as I do remember, done me wrong. You have some cause; they have not. ” Cordelia tells him that didn’t do the King wrong because she had no reason to.