In the last lines of King Lear, Edgar says, "The oldest hath borne most; we that are young / Shall never see so much, nor live so long" (5.3.324–25). Make the argument that Edgar is wrong in what he says, based on the events of the play. Include supporting quotes.

Edgar suggests that the young will never "see" as much as the old have seen and suffered, but an argument can be made that Edgar himself, who has experienced not only his own tragedy but also seen what has happened to Kent, the sisters, Lear, Edmund, and others, has actually seen far more than anybody else in the play, even at his young age.

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This is a great question. I think what you're being asked to consider is how far Edgar's own experiences over the course of the play actually contradict his assertion here. Edgar is suggesting that the oldest people in the play, namely Lear and Gloucester, have suffered the most, and certainly...

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they have suffered. However, have they really suffered the most? Have they really seen the most?

We can't really argue against the question of whether or not Edgar and the other young people in the play might "live so long" as their parents. But we certainly can make the argument that it isn't the oldest who have "borne most." Specifically, Edgar himself has gone through multiple personal tragedies over the course of this play, despite being young, whereas Lear and Gloucester seem to have spent most of their lives living in absolute ease and suffered only because of their own poor decisions at the very end of their lives.

Think about what has happened to Edgar. First of all, his brother has convinced their father that he, Edgar, was trying to murder him. As a result of this, he has been pushed out of his home and forced to dress himself up as Tom o' Bedlam, a mad beggar who is "the lowest and most dejected thing of fortune." An interesting quote from Edgar, however, which may help us interpret why he says what he says at the end of the play, is his comment "worse I may be yet." He knows he is in a terrible state, but he is reluctant to say that this is rock bottom. There is still some optimism in him. He is inclined to argue that others have it worse than him, because that is the sort of nature he has.

For Edgar, this truly is a very "sad time," because he has seen not only his own tragedy, but also every other character's. He has seen what has happened to Kent, to Goneril and Regan, to Edmund, to Oswalt, and to his father. He has literally seen more than anyone else in the play. But he chooses to express that things may have been "worse" for others, because this is what allows him to continue.

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