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Shakespeare: King Lear Act one Scene Two - Edmund's Speech

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Introduction

English Literature Shakespeare: King Lear Act one Scene Two - Edmund's Speech At the very beginning of Act One; Scene Two of King Lear, Edmund enters the scene alone and gives a monologue to the audience. During this monologue, he reveals that his illegitimacy is an extreme downfall within his life. The entire nature of his speech is a criticism towards society for the treatment he receives for being illegitimate. Edmund is speaking against his illegitimacy and speaks of acquiring what he believes in rightfully his, for example land or respect, which he is currently being deprived of. Within the first line of his speech he calls upon the world 'nature' to aid him in his efforts to acquire what, in his opinion is rightfully his - 'Now Gods stand up for bastards!' ...read more.

Middle

We can tell Edmund feels copious amounts of anger, as the words 'brother', 'bastard', 'base' and 'baseness' use the harsh sounding 'b' by means of alliteration to represent and emphasize these feelings of anger. This anger could have been the reason for Edmund becoming a villain by plotting against his own family just to make money. We know that Edmund is scheming against his family as he speaks of his 'invention' meaning the power to invent lies. The fact that Edmund is a bastard has had a fairly severe consequence on his life - he has adapted a very manipulative personality and attitude towards life. 'Well then, legitimate Edgar, I must have your land' shows enviousness towards his brother Edgar, who is seemingly legitimate. ...read more.

Conclusion

Generally, in my opinion, I feel that the way in which Edmund is acting is a result of him being discriminated against by society as a whole, and how he sees his rights are being overseen just because he is, through no fault of his own, a bastard. The fact that he is scheming against his father could be revenge, as he may see it as his father's fault that he is a bastard. Perhaps Edmund is longing for his life to be different, which is why he could arguably be jealous of his legitimate brother, Edgar. However; Edmund still believes that the land currently belonging to his father should be passed onto him, as the fact that he is a bastard doesn't change the fact that he is Gloucester's son. ...read more.

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