King Lear

What is the context of this quote?

“’Poor Turlygod! Poor Tom!’/ That’s something yet! Edgar I nothing am.” (20-21)

Topic, Context, and how this enhances Edgar's character and the plot!!


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Last updated by zadmehr t #332041
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Scene iii is solely a soliloquy by Edgar discussing his transformation into poor Tom, the beggar. He tells us that he has just missed being hunted as he heard them coming for him and hid in a hollow tree. In order to remain safe, he proposes to take on "the basest and most poorest shape", that of a beggar. He covers himself with dirt and filth, ties his hair in knots, strips off much of his clothing, and pricks his skin with pins and nails and so on. He no longer resembles Edgar. The quote speaks to the very Shakespearean theme of honorable characters who are forced to create themselves anew in order to accepted in their society. Edgar is the perfect example of this archetype.