King Lear Act III, Scene 3: Questions and Answers

William Shakespeare

Act III, Scene 3: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why do Cornwall and Regan refuse to grant Gloucester the use of his own castle?

2. How does Edmund feel about the abusive treatment of the King?

3. What news does Gloucester’s dangerous letter contain?

4. What powers are “already footed” in this scene according to Gloucester?

5. Where does Gloucester keep the letter?

6. What does Edmund decide to do about the news his father has given him?

7. Why does Edmund betray his father’s trust in him?

8. What does Gloucester tell Edmund to say to Cornwall if he asks for him?

9. What will be the penalty if Cornwall discovers Gloucester’s intentions?

10. In what way does this scene function as an interim scene?

Answers
1. Cornwall and Regan are punishing Gloucester for giving help to the King.

2. Edmund claims it is “savage and unnatural,” but he feels otherwise.

3. We may assume that the letter talks of powers that are waiting to avenge the abusive treatment of the King.

4. The King of France and Cordelia, we will learn later, are waiting on the shore near Dover with an army.

5. Gloucester has locked the letter in the closet.

6. When Gloucester leaves, Edmund immediately decides to impart the information to Cornwall.

7. Edmund wants his father’s title as Earl of Gloucester.

8. Gloucester asks Edmund to tell Cornwall he is sick in bed.

9. Gloucester has been threatened with death for associating with the King and offering him help in his time of need.

10. This scene functions as an interim scene, breaking the action of Lear, Kent, and the Fool on the heath.