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King lear revision
King Lear: act 1 scene 1 revision notes
Edmund is angry that he is treated as a lesser person than his brother Edgar just
because he's illegitimate. He hints at plotting to take Edgar's land. Edmund write a
letter from Edgar to him and then pretends to be reluctant to show it to
Gloucester. The letter contains supposed plans to kill Gloucester. Edmund
persuades Gloucester to allow him to speak to Edgar and Gloucester to listen to
Gloucester blames his misfortune on the stars and Edmund thinks his father is too
quick to blame his misfortunes on astrology. Edmund manipulates Edgar by telling
him to think of how he could have offended Gloucester.
Edmund tells the audience how easy it is to manipulate his brother and father.
Family relationships- Edmund appears to be liked more by Gloucester now
Edgar appears to be plotting against him.
Jealousy- Edmund doesn't like being second best as he's illegitimate, to
Edgar so he plots revenge on Edgar for this.
Deception- Edmund fools Gloucester into thinking Edgar is plotting against
him, when in fact it is himself.
Edmund: smart- able to manipulate his father and brother easily. Bitter-
feels he should be equal to his brother. Sensitive- takes the issue of him
being illegitimate to heart.
Gloucester: gullible- quick to believe Edmund considering Edgar is his
favourite son. Paranoid- fearful of losing his power.
Edgar: gullible as he is manipulated by Edmund and so he doesn't know him
Lines 1-22: Edmund speaks in blank verse, soliloquy- giving audience an
insight to his thoughts.
"why brand us with base? With baseness? Basterdy? Base, base?"
repetition of `base' suggests tone of anger/frustration that he is being
treated like he is bottom of the social order.
Lines 76-79: lots of adjectives to describe how evil Edgar is, which make
him sound like the worst person around such as "abhorred", "unnatural,
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King lear revision
detested, brutish" and repetition of "villain" which was used as a great
insult, shows just how angry Gloucester is and how gullible he is.
Lines 25: exclamatives show his shock at what Lear has just done
Lines 56-59: lots of interrogatives/exclamatives showing Gloucester's
panic/anger by having lots of unanswered questions together
Edmund is the agenda setter as he changes the subject and ignores Edgar's
question- dominant speaker (lines 154-155)
Lines 187-188: rhyming cuplet to give a sense of finality to the scene.…read more