King Lear Characters - Children

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Cordelia

Act 1, Scene 1 - Cordelia is the only honest daughter of Lear. She gets banished for this, in the same way as Kent does in the same scene. "without our grace, our love" Although she is banished, she continues to "love" Lear.

"with wash'd eyes" - she sees the truth of Goneril and Regan.

Cordelia is away in France for the majority of the play until she returns to invade England.

Act 4, Scene 7 -  "let this kiss repair those violent harms" She is reunited with Lear as he is dying. "And so I am, I am"

Act 5, Scene 3 - "She's gone forever. I know when one is dead, and when one lives"

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Goneril

One of Lear's wicked daughters.

Act 1, Scene 1 - "I love you more than word can wield the matter" Hyperbole - Lear doesn't see this. She takes her opportunity to seize power.

Act 1, Scene 4 - "Men so disorder'd... that this our court, infected with their manners shows like a rioutous inn" - as soon as she has power, she immediately abuses it and starts to break Lear down.

Act 2, Scene 4 - she is seen visibly teaming up with Regan, going against Lear. "Why not by th'hand, sir? How have I offended?"

Act 3, Scene 7 - she gives Cornwall the idea of to "Pluck out his [Gloucester's] eyes"

Act 5, Scene 3 - Goneril commits suicide because Albany reveals the letter. "bloody knife" "it came from the heart of - O, she's dead!"

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Regan

Lear's other wicked daughter.

Act 1, Scene 1 - "I profess myself to all other joys" - she also uses hyperbole which Lear doesn't see

Act 2, Scene 4 - "O sir, you are old!" "What need one?" - in this scene, we see Regan's true wickedness completely breaking Lear down and ********* him of all power.

Act 3, Scene 7 - "plucks his [Gloucester's] beard" - Regan is most cruel in this scene. She is disgracing him, taking on a masculine role.

Act 5, Scene 3 - Goneril poisons Regan, causing her death. "The one the other poison'd for my [Edmund's] sake"

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Edmund

Gloucester's Machiavellian son.

Act 1, Scene 2 - Edmund soliloquises. "With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base?" "Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land." "go arm'd"

Act 2, Scene 1 - "Look, sir, I bleed." He will go to any means to gain power. "I shall serve you, sir, truly" He becomes Cornwall's right hand man.

Act 3, Scene 3 - "The younger rises when the old doth fall."

Act 3, Scene 7 - no matter how "truly" he serves Cornwall, he can't stand to watch his father hurt physically. He leaves the room before Gloucester's eyes are plucked out.

Act 5, Scene 2 - "To both these sisters I have sworn my love" He puts himself in a dilemma and becomes the cause of the death of Regan and Goneril.

Act 5, Scene 3 - "That she forbid herself" - he tries to put the blame onto others for Cordelia's death.

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Edgar

Gloucester's "legitimate" first born son.

Act 1, Scene 2 - "Some villain hath done me wrong." He doesn't see that it is his own brother that has done him wrong.

Act 2, Scene 3 - Edgar soliloquises. "basest and most poorest shape" "Bedlam beggars" "Poor Tom! That's something yet: Edgar I nothing am."

Act 3, Scene 4 - Lear, Kent and the Fool come across Edgar (as Poor Tom) on the heath. "Who gives anything to Poor Tom?"

Act 4, Scene 1 - "madmen shall lead the blind" "Poor Tom shall lead thee"

Act 4, Scene 6 - "Look up a-height" Edgar doesn't let Gloucester kill himself. He later kills Oswald. "O! untimely death. Death!"

Act 5, Scene 3 - Edmund and Edgar fight. Edmund falls. "we that are young shall never so much, nor live so long" - closing line of the play.

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