• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and Contrast the presentation on Edmund and Edgar in Sheakespeare's King Lear

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare and Contrast Shakespeare's Presentation of Edmund and Edgar Throughout King Lear, Shakespeare uses language to create insight into a character and to portray their emotions. It is clear that Shakespeare's use of language forms a striking contrast between characters. Shakespeare begins King Lear with a subplot, involving Gloucester and his illegitimate son Edmund. Gloucester is having a conversation with Kent (one of Lear's advisors) concerning Gloucester's affair with Edmunds mother. Gloucester consistently compares Edmund to Edgar, his elder son, and appears to feel very disconnected to Edmund. This is revealed in the first scene when Gloucester speaks of Edmund as his mother's son, while he claims Edgar as his own. Edmund are Edgar are conflicting characters. Despite Edmund's malicious nature he is incredibly charismatic on stage, which creates a distinct contrast to his brother Edgar's bland goodness. This essay will explore how Shakespeare uses language and a variety of techniques he uses to present this contrast. One similarity that could be drawn between the two characters Edmund and Edgar is the respectful language they use when they speak to their father Gloucester. ...read more.

Middle

Here Edmund stands alone on stage when thinking about how he is going to deceive his innocent brother. Shakespeare may have chosen to stand Edmund alone in his resentment towards Edgar just as Edmund feels he stands alone in his 'baseness', he feels nobody understands how inferior he feels. A further contrast between the two brothers is that while here Edmund stands ands feels alone, Edgar scarcely stands alone. When Edgar adopts his new persona as 'poor Tom' he is shortly joined by other demoralized characters such as Lear who immediately warms to his base character 'Noble philosopher, your company.' Gloucester choice to banish Edgar is a rash decision, which parallels to Lear's sudden decision to banish Cordelia and Kent. Both Lear and Gloucester overlook the child that loves them most. The audience might feel sympathy for Edgar as he has been put in a situation that he believes is real whereas Edmund and the audience know that this is not so. On the other hand the audience may feel frustrated by how much Edgar trusts his brother when they know what he really believes and the true nature of his character. ...read more.

Conclusion

However later the wheel 'turns' from Edmund when Edgar returns and Edgar 'hast this fortune on' him. In conclusion, Shakespeare primarily focuses on creating contrasts between Edgar and Edmund opposed to similarities between the two characters. However one striking similarity does arise. Shakespeare chose to names the brothers Edgar and Edmund; the names are very alike, which is unexpected when their characters differ so greatly. This may be Shakespeare's way of explaining how difficult it is to distinguish between good and evil. The most important contrast he presents is how the two characters represent good or evil. In performance, the colours each of the characters wear reveal the distinct contrast between Edmund and Edgar. This is specifically shown in the battle between the two brothers at the end of the play. Edgar wears white to suggest innocence and goodness and Edmund wears dark colours, which represent evil and sin. The colours symbolise their mental attitudes and personalities. Edmund is presented as a cold malevolent character while Edmund is shown as a trustworthy and loyal who is devastated by losing his family and livelihood. However, it is Edgar who represents morality and is one of the few characters who survives the play, in consequence, presenting the legendary moral that good will always defeat evil. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    While the former images heighten the tone of the events, the latter brings the situation back into reality, making a point about the place of religion in war. Chapter II Summary The man with bandaged hands, Caravaggio, has been in the military hospital in Rome for over four months.

  2. Compare and contrast the presentation of sex and sexuality in The Color Purple by ...

    Walker uses quilting and sewing between the women in the novel as a means of sisterhood. Celie and Sofia start to mend their relationship in letter 27 by piecing a quilt together with a "basket full of scarps on the floor".

  1. madness through king lear, the fool and edgar

    As the play progresses, we can see that the king's identity is gradually becoming unbeknown to him when he asks the question "Who is there that can tell me who I am?"1, we can see that Lear is slowly losing his wits.

  2. Compare and contrast how Atwood and Orwell use language in their regimes as a ...

    They're filled with books. Books and books and books, right out in plain view...No wonder we can't come in here. It's an oasis of the forbidden.' There are clear double standards present in Gilead. Atwood explores issues of censorship using two extremes, firstly in the removal of newspapers and secondly

  1. Compare and contrast the writers presentation of conflict and power between men and women ...

    The meaning of ?doom? is slightly different to ?King Lear? as we see Tess? ?doom? from the beginning whereas we see Lear?s by a gradual build up. Differently ?The Mayor of Casterbridge?, the word ?doomed? could be placed in another sense as one could say Henchard shares the same characteristics

  2. Compare and contrast American playwrights presentation of masculinity in Death of a Salesman, Whos ...

    She berates him for sulking early on: ?are you sulking? Is that what you?re doing?? Men should not sulk; they must be stoic. Years prior, George refused to box his taunting father in law and was made to feel like less of a man because of it.

  1. William Shakespeare examined ideas that contributed to the development of modern society, while engaging ...

    Personification, 'bears it out' (Shakespeare twelve) suggests love unpleasantly waits. The use of personification incorporates humans. Alternatively word choice, 'edge of doom' (Shakespeare twelve) is strongly inferior, describing loves wait. The sonnet states love contaminated by the human condition. Statement, 'upon me proved' ensures the texts conviction and clarity.

  2. Write about the ways Shakespeare explores different characters experiences of love in Act 1, ...

    As Richard is very aristocratic his perception of love is that he only wants to be involved in a relationship because he wants to build his status and uses Anne as a political pawn, ?For then I will marry Warwick?s youngest daughter?, Richard sets out his plans to marry Lady

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work