King Lear: act 4 scene 5 notes

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King lear
King Lear: Act 4 Scene 5
Key: plot form language structure character
Lines 1-16: Regan is suspicious of a letter from Goneril to Edmund. After
delivery of Goneril's message to Cornwall, Edmund has gone off, Regan
believes to end Gloucester's misery by killing him.
Lines 17-40: Regan wants to open the letter to Edmund. She suspects that
Goneril and Edmund are lovers, but points out to Oswald that as a widow,
she is more eligible for Edmund and she hints that they have an
understanding, Regan gives Oswald a token to hand to Edmund and reminds
him that killing Gloucester will have benefits.
Regan is the dominant speaker as she has the longest and most turns but also
because she is the agenda setter as she uses lots of interrogatives such as
"what might import my sister's letter to him" (line 6) which shows she is
controlling the topic of conversation. This is expected as Regan is of a
higher status than Oswald who is a servant.
Regan is determined to get Edmund and so she wants to read the letter
"more convenient is he for my hand than your lady's" (line 31). Convenient
suggests Regan doesn't want Edmund cause of love.
Lines 9-10: suggests that Gloucester is making people feel sorry for him and
making them hate Regan so she wishes she killed him when she could have.

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