King Lear Act III, Scene 4: Questions and Answers

William Shakespeare

Act III, Scene 4: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What does the storm on the heath symbolize?

2. Who is Edgar in disguise?

3. What type of clothing does Tom o’ Bedlam wear?

4. According to Lear, who are the three sophisticated ones?

5. Who does Lear say is the “thing itself”?

6. Whom does Lear pity in his prayer on the heath?

7. What is Gloucester carrying as he enters the hovel?

8. What does Edgar call Gloucester when he approaches the hovel?

9. How does Gloucester’s situation compare to Lear’s?

10. Why has Gloucester come out into the storm?

Answers
1. The storm symbolizes Lear’s tempest in his mind.

2. Edgar is disguised as Tom o’ Bedlam, a madman.

3. Tom o’ Bedlam wears only a blanket.

4. The three sophisticated persons are Lear, Kent, and the Fool.

5. Edgar in disguise is referred to as the “thing itself.” He is natural, “unaccommodated” man.

6. Lear pities the homeless and hungry who have no place to go for shelter from the storm.

7. Gloucester is carrying a torch into the hovel.

8. Edgar calls him the foul fiend who walks the streets at night.

9. Gloucester and Lear both have children who seek their death.

10. Gloucester has come to find Lear and offer him food and shelter in an outbuilding near the castle.