King Lear Act I, Scene 2: Summary and Analysis

William Shakespeare

Act I, Scene 2: Summary and Analysis

In Edmund’s opening soliloquy, we move from King Lear’s palace in the previous scene to the castle of the Earl of Gloucester. The subplot of the play is set in motion when Edmund calls upon his goddess, Nature, to whose law he is bound. As the illegitimate son of Gloucester, Edmund challenges his supposed inferiority to his legitimate brother Edgar. He is also aware that Edgar is no dearer to his father than he is and intends to capitalize on the Earl’s trust in him. Determined to snatch his half-brother’s land and future title as Earl of Gloucester, Edmund forges his brother’s name in a letter in which Edgar presumably suggests a plan to murder his father. With the letter in his hand, Edmund...

(The entire section is 976 words.)