Albany discovers that Goneril wants Edmund to kill him. He leads his forces against those of France and Lear. There is a battle, and Lear's forces lose. After the battle, Edmund has Lear and Cordelia imprisoned, and sends a secret note to his officer ordering him to execute them.
Albany claims that Edmund is overstepping his bounds, and reveals his knowledge of the plot against him. Regan and Goneril, as well as Albany and Edmund argue, and Albany and Edmund challenging each other to a duel. Regan is poisoned by her sister. Edgar shows up to fight in Albany's place, and mortally wounds his half-brother. Edmund, dying, confesses his involvement in the plot against Albany, and Edgar reveals his true identity. We learn that Gloucester had died earlier when Edgar revealed his identity to him. Goneril kills her self, and Regan dies of poisoning. Edmund tries to stop the execution of Lear and Cordelia, but it is too late for Cordelia. Lear enters holding her dead body in his arms. He dies, and Albany recognizes Kent and Edgar as joint rulers. Kent declines, and Edgar is left to rule alone.