What did the earl of kent do to serve his king and to save his master?  

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Kent sacrifices his privilege, status, and identity to serve Lear.  Kent disguises himself as a beggar/servant, Caius, to save his master:

Lear asks, "This is a dull sight. Are you not Kent?"

Kent responds, "The same, Your servant Kent: Where is your servant Caius?"

Lear: "He's a good fellow, I can tell you that; He'll strike, and quickly too: he's dead and rotten."

Kent: "No, my good lord; I am the very man,--"

Caius (Kent) travels with Lear, protecting him.  He is a kind of seeing-eye dog (guide), who is fiercely devoted to his King and master.  He knows that Lear will regain his senses, that the King is merely grieving and disoriented.

Kent says, "Royal Lear, Whom I have ever honour'd as my king, Loved as my father, as my master follow'd, As my great patron thought on in my prayers,--"

When crazy, Lear tells Kent, "Follow me; thou shalt serve me: if I like thee no worse after dinner, I will not part from thee yet. Dinner, ho, dinner! Where's my knave? my fool? Go you, and call my fool hither.

But, even though Lear never praises him for his loyalty, Kent even follows him to the death.

Kent says at the end: "I have a journey, sir, shortly to go; / My master calls me, I must not say no."