EDGAR CHARACTER ANALYSIS - King Lear and Oedipus connections


EDGAR (Transformation, disguise, change, loyalty, deceit, power...)


Edgar resorts to poverty as he becomes fearful for his life, due to Edmonds trickery and deceit. He transforms his identity from a noble character to a figure of poverty and madness - "Poor Tom" - in order to protect himself. In his soliloquy, he mirrors Edmonds plosives "basest", "beast", and refers to "bedlam beggars" - this reminds the audience of society, and how even these poor people can be affected by Lear's actions; people beyond the court suffer too, and Edgar uses this identity and aligns himself with the poor. To create this disguise, he self harms with "pins, wooden pricks, nails...", a semantic field of violence. He ends the soliloquy with "Edgar, I nothing am" - he must throw off his identity in order to find it again later on in the play. The tone of his last line here contrasts to Edmonds, "Now gods, stand up for bastards!" heightening his loss of power and confidence, and the shred of identity. His transformation is also evident in the change of language - he mirrors Lear's madness, "Do, de , de , de". 

Alike Edmond, Edgar also uses Gloucester's physical blindness as a tool of manipulation, however with good intentions. He describes a scene in high detail - "buoy...fishermen....pebble"


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