king Lear: Act 4 scene 6 notes

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English lang and lit king lear revision
Act 4 scene 6 notes
Plot
Gloucester wants to be taken to a cliff near Dover so he can die. Edgar, in
disguise as poor Tom, prevents this by lying to him and saying they are near the
cliff when in fact they aren't, causing Gloucester to just fall onto his face. Edgar
pretends to find Gloucester on the beach and says it's a miracle he survived. They
come across Lear who is talking to himself and wearing a circlet of flowers on his
head and Gloucester recognises Lear's voice and Lear then starts ranting about
adultery and starts to call women a lot of awful things such as Centaurs. He also
uses a lot of lexis that compares them to hell and the devil. This is expressed due
to his hatred of how his daughters have treated him.
Characters
Edgar- disguised as poor Tom and is feeling reluctant to keep his identity
secret from Gloucester any longer, but still fears the consequences if he
does.
Gloucester- very low state of mind, intent of killing himself
Lear- completely mad and consumed with hatred for his daughters.
Themes
Madness- Lear has gone completely mad with his anger at his two daughters
Death- Gloucester wants to die as he sees it as his only escape from his
suffering
Suffering- Gloucester is suffering with his loss of sight and of the loos of
his son Edgar
Language features
Connotations of evil when Edgar persuades Gloucester he was led to the
cliff by the devil (lines 69-73) "thousand noses", "horns", "fiend".
Hyperbole used to exaggerate what this devil looked like to convince
Gloucester it was there.
Edgar is the dominant Speaker- uses imperatives "give me your arm" (line
64)
Lear describes women in ways that connote evil such as comparing them to
centaurs who were mythological creatures, suggesting they are beasts and
wild (line 124). Lexis connoting hell "sulphurous pit- burning, scalding,
stench, consumption". This shows that his madness has extended his hatred
of his two daughters and he is now consumed by it.

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