|Gloucester: His breeding, sir, hath been at my charge. I have so often blushed to acknowledge him that now I am brazed to ‘t.
||1) blushed2) brazedEdmund (the illegitimate) birth and upbringing has been at Gloucester’s expense. He states he use to feel so often ashamed and as a result, is no longer ashamed of having an illegitimate child.AO2 = A legally accurate answer -implies Gloucester has done the right thing by Edmund. Suggests he has provided for Edmund at the very least financially and perhaps provided an education. AO4 = during 17th Century, illegitimate sons were expected to be provided for financially by the father otherwise they would be provided for and a burden for the parish to carry.
|Gloucester: Though this knave came something saucily to the world…there was good sport at his making, and the whoreson must be acknowledged.
||1) saucily2) good sportHere Edmund hears his father’s coarse joking and boasting about his conceivement. AO2 = ‘Knave’ and ‘whoreson’ – on the one hand playful terms meaning ‘boy’ and ‘fellow’ respectively however both terms also contemptuously evoke Edmund’s condition as inferior and a bastard. Here, Gloucester appears to be an insensitive father as well as a morally questionable man. He jokes openly about Edmund’s precarious situation as an illegitimate child (and we remember – a result of Gloucester’s own moral failings) and also appears to feel contempt for his illegitimate son. This is illustrated in Shakespeare’s choice of language – ‘knave’ and ‘whoreson’; but also in Gloucester’s repetition of the idea that fathers are responsibility for all children, including the illegitimate: ‘the whoreson must be acknowledged’. Staging = we must remember Edmund is present throughout this scene and therefore hears Gloucester’s insensitive joking – does this give Edmund a motive and help to account for his behaviour later on in the play?
|I must love you, and sue to know you better
||Kent to Edmund A1S1AO2 – Kent appears to be a respectable and noble man. The ideas of ‘knowing’ or gaining knowledge or truth is a central theme in ‘King Lear’.Kent and indeed the audience do in fact come to understand Edmund ‘better’ as his true nature is revealed or ‘known’, across the play.
|Know that we have divided/In three our kingdom.