King Lear Act I, Scene 2: Questions and Answers

William Shakespeare

Act I, Scene 2: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. In his soliloquy, what does Edmund want to take from his legitimate half-brother Edgar?

2. What is the piece of paper Edmund is supposedly hiding from his father? What does it say?

3. What is Gloucester’s reaction to the letter?

4. Give an example of alliteration in Edmund’s soliloquy.

5. What does Edmund think of his father’s view of nature?

6. What does Edmund tell Edgar about his father?

7. What does Edmund tell Edgar he must do if he intends to walk in public?

8. Where is Edgar instructed to go?

9. How will Edgar be able to talk to his father?

10. Why is Edmund gloating at the end of the scene?

Answers
1. Edmund wants to take land that now rightfully belongs to his half-brother Edgar.

2. The piece of paper is a forged letter supposedly written by Edgar plotting his father’s murder.

3. Gloucester’s reaction to the letter sends him into a rage against his son Edgar.

4. An example of alliteration in Edmund’s soliloquy is “With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base?”

5. Edmund thinks his father is only blaming the stars for his own failures.

6. Edmund tells Edgar his father is very angry with him and might harm him.

7. Edmund tells Edgar he must arm himself if he intends to “stir abroad.”

8. Edgar is instructed to go to Edmund’s lodging.

9. Edmund promises to bring Edgar to his father so he can hear him speak.

10. Edmund gloats because he has duped his father and half-brother into believing his story.