King Lear Manipulation

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Question 2 Edgar assumes the role of a poor madman for several reasons, especially to conceal himself from being caught and to be worth more than nothing. Edgar chooses this disguise as he can’t be himself anymore because “no port is free; no place,/that guard and most unusual vigilance,” meaning that all are on the lookout for anyone that resembles Edgar (Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 3-4). If Edgar had chosen to be himself, then he would have been caught easily, defeating the purpose of his escape. Moreover, in his current state, Edgar has been stripped of any status he had due to Edmund’s manipulation, which painted Edgar as a betrayer against his father. Due to a combination of these factors, he chooses to distance himself from his original identity …show more content…
He captures how much he truly despises his daughters as he recognizes that Edmund disrupted natural order by turning against his father and deceiving him, yet still favors him over his daughters. As a result, since Lear doesn’t consider bastardism as necessarily unacceptable, as “the wren goes to’t, and the small gilded fly/does lecher in my sight,” meaning that they breed without hiding (Act 4, Scene 6, Lines 6-7). Due to his background as a king, he advocates for such breeding to increase numbers of his army. Enraged, his derision against his daughters extends into a diatribe against women as he calls them out for pretending to be virtuous, when in reality “the fitchew, nor the soiled horse, goes to ’t/with a more riotous appetite” with lower bodies of Centaurs (Act 4, Scene 6, Lines 16-17). He metaphorically associates women to animals and decreases their status by placing them lower (and worse) than animals, meaning they don’t have the morality or sophistication that sets humans apart from animals. Later, parallelism and asyndeton help reiterate how unscrupulous they are, depicting them as a thorough manifestation of the facets of hell as “burning, scalding, stench, consumption” (Act 4, Scene 6, Line 23). By describing their lower body as hell, he is able to attach the worst fears to women—ones that people stay