King Lear

The Subtlety of Edgar's Importance in King Lear College

The Subtlety of Edgar's Importance in King Lear

Any great work of literature stems from the cohesion of many elements to create a piece that is memorable and captivating. William Shakespeare's plays gained notoriety for the ability their characters to captivate the human spirit as well as his eloquent use of language. As a testament to his skill as a playwright, some of his most interesting characters could exist in the background of the play while still driving the narrative of the story. For example, King Lear tells a gripping tale of characters who forsake their families to pursue their own self-interests, unlike the character Edgar who selflessly works to bring about the resolution of the story, despite his own betrayal. His altruistic dedication to those who are helpless and his positive influence on even the most depraved characters make Edgar the most important figure in King Lear. The audience first hears of Edgar in Act 1 Scene 1 in a conversation between Gloucester and Kent where Gloucester laments his bastard son Edmund and praises his true son Edgar. Gloucester assures Kent that he loves his children equally despite Edmund’s beginnings, because his mother was pretty and he enjoyed bringing him into this world....

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