King Lear Essay

Submitted By peters11
Words: 458
Pages: 2

King Lear is classified as a tragedy, and what is a tragedy without a villain? In just about every Shakespearean play there is the role of a villain. In King Lear’s place, the cunning and evil Edmund comes to mind as the typical Shakespearean villain. He is on a quest for power and land and will do anything to reach his goals no matter how destructive it may get. Edmund’s cruel schemes lead to the downfall of some characters as well as ultimately defining the tragedy of King Lear.

Edmund is the illegitimate son of Gloucester, and he does not like it one bit. He commands that the “gods stand up for bastards” (1.2.22). He makes this demand because he feels as if he does not receive the recognition he deserves due to his illegitimacy. In order to obtain the love from his father he devises a scheme to frame his legitimate brother, Edgar, and make it appear as if Edgar wishes to kill Gloucester. When he successfully carries out this act, he is rewarded by his father. This is just one example of the tragic vision. After this act is carried out, tragedy strikes with the relationship between Gloucester and Edgar all because of the evil work of Edmund. Edmund causes the suffering of both Gloucester and Edgar.

One of the worst examples of tragedy is when someone is perfectly okay with betraying a loved one. The villainous Edmund commits this offense when he betrays his own father and tells Cornwall that his father is helping Lear and that he had also received a letter that an army from Britain is coming to battle Cornwall. Turning against one’s friend is a despicable action, but to turn against…