Why did Gloucester want to arrest his son Edgar?

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The Earl of Gloucester wants to have his legitimate son and heir Edgar arrested because his villainous illegitimate son Edmund has managed to make him believe that Edgar is plotting to kill his father in order to take over his title and property. Edgar is forced to flee and becomes the focus of a manhunt. He disguises himself as a madman. In Act 3, Scene 2, Lear, Kent, and the Fool, who are all homeless vagrants now, encounter Edgar hiding in a hovel. Lear and the Fool have a wild conversation with Edgar, who is calling himself poor Tom and pretending to be mad. In Act 3, Scene 7, Gloucester is blinded for trying to help Lear and is cast out of his own castle by Lear's daughter Regan and her husband the Duke of Cornwall. Edgar finds his father wandering in the open country and becomes his guide, still pretending to be Poor Tom and later pretending to be an ignorant peasant.


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