Introduction to Shakespeare's Edmund from King Lear

It is also of the utmost importance that Tate transfers the gulling of Gloucester off the stage. Edmund, in this version, has already deceived his father at the time that he is first met by the audience, such that we cannot watch Gloucester deceiving himself even as Edmund attempts to dissuade him. The guilt which accrues to Shakespeare's Gloucester for his suspicion, which transgresses the natural order as Cordelia frames it, does not fall upon the head of Tate's Gloucester, who is presented as solely a victim of Edmund's machinations. At the same time, the injustice of Edmund's disinheritance is downplayed by Tate in making Cordelia's disinheritance a deliberate and voluntary act on her part to escape the marriage arrangements being made by her father, as well as in removing entirely Edmund's case regarding the succession of generations. Just as the first two lines of Edmund's soliloquy are intellectually orphaned by the later emendations, so here Kent's outburst at Lear, "What wilt thou doe, old Man?", is stranded as an uncharacteristically petty and cruel barb to come from so old and dear a friend of the king since Lear's age, absent the ideas Edmund imputes to Edgar, has become entirely irrelevant to their argument.

Shakespeare's Characters: Edmund (King Lear) From …

An overview of Edmund from King Lear and a comparision of Edmund and ..
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Shakespeare Sonnet 4 - Analysis - ThoughtCo

But Buckley, not intending to "subvert in any way the generous emotions of sympathy and detestation of vileness which Shakespeare so obviously meant to arouse in our breasts when he wrote King Lear" (94), passes with only the barest observation over a most salient fact, which is that Gloucester is guilty of high treason (91). Though the first letter by which Edmund's trap was set was a "nothing" of Edmund's own devising, the second, by which he deposes Gloucester and actually comes into possession of the lands originally destined for Edgar (the value of which as a symbol for his triumph over legal disability he had affirmed in his first soliloquy), is a something. It is a genuine letter that incriminates Gloucester as "adhering to the king's enemies" and "aiding them in or out of the realm" with the intent of "levying war in the king's dominions". Recognizing the necessary familiarity of Shakespeare and the London audience with the technical ins and outs of these legal matters, we must conclude that there is a deliberate significance to the fact that Edmund, whose status outside the realm of law and custom as an agent of Nature was so baldly declared in the second scene, is indicted under the law of men for a crime he did not commit, while his father is, in fact, guilty. If the play had, by the fifth act, left us in doubt over the relative moral merits of Gloucester and his bastard son, their legal status at the end of the play seems intended to resolve them.

An analysis of edmund in king lear by william shakespeare

Though Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 and Spenser’s Sonnet 75 from Amoretti both offer lovers this immortality through verse, only Spenser pairs this immortality with respect and partnership, while Shakespeare promises the subject of the sonnet immortality by unusual compliments and the assurance that she will live on as long as the sonnet continues to be read....

Matthews, Richard.
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Analysis of Shakespeare s Sonnet 30 Essay - 713 Words

The discrepancies between the two versions seem to leave no doubt that, whatever the opinion of subsequent critics, Tate felt there to be a real and immanent danger that hearers of Shakespeare's play would not receive Edmund as a villain and that this conviction inspired him with the necessity of completely rewriting the part in order to make him one.

Shakespeare's King Lear Analysis ..

Of course, a possible reading is not necessarily a plausible one, but it is intriguing that Nahum Tate's 1681 adaptation goes to great trouble to establish Edmund as a mere villain even as it thrusts him to the fore of the play. "Thou Nature art my Goddess, to thy Law / My services are bound;" ( The History of King Lear, I.1-2) are the first words spoken on Tate's stage, yet they are curiously robbed of their power when Edmund twice subsequently ranges himself against law: "Well then, legitimate Edgar, to thy Right / Of Law I will oppose a Bastard's Cunning... And Base-born Edmund spight of Law inherits" (I.11-12;21). Shakespeare's Edmund does not, and could not, speak these lines precisely because he is an adherent of an higher law-the law of Nature. Tate's Edmund, however, is still implicitly recognizing the authority of human law, which he never once refers to as a "plague" or "curiosity", rendering his professions to Nature a mere platitude to cover an act of rebellion. This separation of Edmund from higher purpose is further emphasized by Tate's omission of the closing line of Shakespeare's soliloquy, "Now, gods, stand up for bastards!" (King Lear, I.i.22). Shakespeare's Edmund feels the justness of his cause and thus is willing to invoke divine support for it-a support of which Tate's Edmund could not dare to dream.

SparkNotes: Shakespeare’s Sonnets: Sonnet 1

What follows is an ingenious wordplay that highlights the necessity of his choice. While Gilbert has brilliantly revealed Edmund's workings upon the structure of language, he has perhaps missed their larger import in his adherence to the conventional 'villain' stereotyping of Edmund. "Manipulative speakers," Gilbert writes, "who impose their own interests on language are a central feature of King Lear," (7) noting the rhetorical contortions of Goneril and Regan in the first scene. Edmund, however, is being more than merely manipulative when he begins to address the timing of his birth: