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

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

Extracts from this document...

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.

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 King Lear 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 King Lear essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How effectively does Shakespeare present Lear's loss of power in the play?

    4 star(s)

    his daughters and he becomes obsessed with this betrayal thinking that this action must be the reason for all other problems as shown when Lear asks the disguised Edgar "Didst thou give all to thy daughters?". He becomes so confused that he does not even know who he is at times asking "What's he?".

  2. Explore the presentation of Edmund in 'King Lear'

    He wants to stir things up so that he can improvise his way to a better position, which for him means attain more power and prestige. As he says, "Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit;/ All with me's meet that I can fashion fit".

  1. How does Shakespeare present Edmund in King Lear?

    Initially we see a dialogue between Edmund and Gloucester. There are only ever two people in this scene, and it further progresses so only Edmund and Edgar are talking.

  2. Critical Appreciation of Act one Scene one in King Lear

    It is therefore quite obvious that Lear's sense of reason, which should be befitting a king, overshadowed by vanity and arrogance. The consequences of his actions will not only result in his "mental and physical decay" but also in cosmic disorders.

  1. With particular reference to Act 1, Scene 1, show how Shakespeare presents the character ...

    on the Gods; it is Kent that stops him by reminding him of what he is doing. The next incident that Shakespeare shows Lear as a blind fool is when Lear says "Hear me, recreant", - it is ironic that Lear is calling Kent a recreant, as he can not see that Kent has not been traitorous.

  2. Just how admirable is Edmund?

    "To both these sisters I have sworn my love, / Each jealous of the other as the stung / Are of the adder. Which one of them shall I take? / Both? One? Or neither? Neither can be enjoyed / If both remain alive."

  1. The Nature of Redemption and the Limits of Pessimism in King Lear

    Indeed, it takes a leap of faith to imagine that Lear?s final moments consist in some sort of ecstatic joy, sublime and anguished as it may be. It seems much more defensible to think, as Stampfer argues, that the final scene presents us with Lear?s relapse into madness and despair.

  2. How does Shakespeare create a sense of unease in Act 1 Scene 1 of ...

    Lear does not waste any time in getting straight to the essence and plot of the play. Rather than any introductory small talk, Lear commands his lords to ?Attend? (highlighting his unquestioned dominance) and in expressing his desires to split up his kingdom and allow his daughters to take control

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