King Lear – Edgar Quotes

A1.S2: Edgar falls into the scheme of Edmund by (foolishly) assuming that Edmund must be telling the truth ‘Some villain hath done me wrong’
A2.S3: During Edgar’s transition into ‘Poor Tom’ ‘My face I’ll grime with filth’
A2.S3: The dramatic end to Edgar’s soliloquy after changing into ‘Poor Tom’ ‘Edgar I nothing am’
A3.S4: Edgar suggests that the devil follows him; possibly as a sign of a truth to his madness, however the image could also refer to Edmund who now haunts him as he takes his place ‘Away! The foul fiend follows me’
A3.S4: Edgar seems to preach advice that should be aimed at Goneril and Regan but also could reflect on his own situation regarding Edmund and Gloucester ‘obey thy parents: keep thy word justly’
A3.S4: Edgar leaves the scene hanging on an ominous note – possibly alluding to his role in killing Edmund. Could also make connections to the regression back to childish needs ‘I smell the blood of a British man’ (British differs from ‘english’ in the original tale – possibly to link it to King James I who liked to be known as King of Great Brittaine)
A3.S6: Edgar’s asides exposes his feigned madness – his pity for Lear highlights Gloucester’s foolishness for believing Edmund immediately ‘[aside] My tears begin to take his part so much they mar my counterfeiting’
A4.S1: Edgar’s use of superlatives to comfort him of his own situation ‘To be the worst, the lowest and most dejected’
A4.S1: Edgar breaks the fourth wall after seeing the terrible condition of father – perhaps he can’t handle the influx of emotion totally alone and so Shakespeare projects some of it onto the audience ‘I am worse than e’er I was’
A4.S1: Edgar shows real compassion for Gloucester’s fate ‘Bless thy sweet eyes, they bleed’
A4.S6: Edgar articulates one of the more significant themes of the play of reason in madness. There is a juxtaposition that madness leads to the truth ‘O matter of impertinency mix’d! Reason in madness!’
A5.S3: In the battle between Edgar and Edmund, Edgar restores the natural order and accuses Edmund of his treachery ‘Thou art a traitor: False to thy gods, thy brother and thy father’
A5.S3: Edgar reflects on the wheel of fortune and the restoring of the natural order ‘My name is Edgar and thy father’s son. The gods are just’
A5.S3: Edgar speaks the last lines of the play ‘The weight of this sad time we must obey, Speak what we feel not what we ought to say. The oldest hath borne most; we that are young/Shall never see so much, nor live so long’