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Act 2 Scene 1
In Gloucester's castle, Gloucester's servant Curan tells Edmund that he has informed Gloucester that
the duke of Cornwall and his wife, Regan, are coming to the castle. Curan also mentions vague
rumours about trouble between Cornwall and Albany.
Edmund is delighted to hear of Cornwall's visit, realizing that he can make use of him in his scheme to
get rid of Edgar. Edmund calls Edgar out of his hiding place and tells him that Cornwall is angry with
him for being on Albany's side of their disagreement. Edmund tells Edgar that Gloucester has
discovered his hiding place and that he ought to flee the house. When he hears Gloucester coming,
Edmund draws his sword and pretends to fight with Edgar, while Edgar runs away. Edmund cuts his
arm with his sword and lies to Gloucester, telling him that Edgar wanted him to join in a plot against
Gloucester's life and that Edgar tried to kill him for refusing. The unhappy Gloucester praises Edmund
and vows to pursue Edgar. Cornwall and Regan arrive at Gloucester's house. Regan asks Gloucester
for his advice in answering letters from Lear and Gonerill.
Falseness `In cunning I must draw my sword upon you. Draw! Seem to defend yourself! Now
quit you well' Edmund pretends that he is helping Edgar to escape whereas, his intentions are really
to make it out as if Edgar's hurt Edmund for not going against his father.
Change of relationship `Where is the villain, Edmund?' Gloucester refers to Edgar as the `villain'
which shows how he is becoming blinded in thinking wrongly of his son and also how he doesn't
regard Edgar as his son anymore
Change of power `and of my land, Loyal and natural boy, I'll work the means to make thee
capable' As Gloucester has been fooled by Edmund by putting Edgar in a bad light he tells Edmund
how he is giving all his power to him
Act 2 Scene 2
Kent and Oswald come into conflict as Kent draws his sword at him. Oswald cries for help which calls
Cornwall, Regan and Gloucester. Kent replies rudely to their explanations and Cornwall orders him to
be punished in the stocks. Gloucester says that this will humiliate Lear but Cornwall and Regan still
carry on with this punishment. Kent reads a letter from Cordelia in which she promises to help.
Loyalty `Draw you rascal! You come with letters against the king' Kent attacks Oswald for going
against Lear which shows how loyal he is to Lear that he can't take anyone speaking bad of him
Cruelty `Till noon? Till night, my lord, and all night too' Regan make use of her power by
ordering Kent to stay in the stocks all throughout the night. She speaks bitterly and doesn't take into
account his old age.
Change in power Gloucester also shows loyalty to Lear as he tells Cornwall and Regan that to put
Lear's servant in the stocks is insulting therefore they shouldn't. However, they don't act upon his
advice neither do they feel as if they've done something bad which shows how they don't fear Lear.
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Act 2 Scene 3
As Kent sleeps in the stocks, Edgar enters. He has escaped the manhunt for him, but he is afraid that
he will soon be caught. Stripping off his fine clothing and covering himself with dirt, he turns himself
into "poor Tom''. He states that he will pretend to be one of the beggars who, having been released
from insane asylums, wander the countryside constantly seeking food and shelter.…read more