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Thread: King Lear

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    King Lear

    Why is Edmunds silence significant in the opening scenes of the play?

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    the beloved: Gladys's Avatar
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    How silent? He speaks three times in Act I Scene I, and frequently in Scene II.

    As a junior to the two dukes in Scene I, Edmund responds politely and with restraint in the dozen lines where he is present.

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    aspiring Arthurianist Wilde woman's Avatar
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    I think the silence your teacher is referring to is the passage where Gloucester introduces Edmund by calling him a "whoreson". Instead of protesting and defending himself, Edmund basically takes his father's insults. Personally, I think this is a subtle way for Shakespeare to show us that Edmund might deserve our pity...this mistreatment from his father doesn't justify Edmund's later actions, but it certainly shows us where they might come from.

    Here's a little more on that subject: http://www.shmoop.com/character/lite...ar/edmund.html

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    the beloved: Gladys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilde woman View Post
    ...Edmund might deserve our pity...
    Yes and, unlike Kent, the bawdy Gloucester is less than likeable in that first scene.

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    Asa Nisi Masa mayneverhave's Avatar
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    Also, perhaps it reflects Edmund's understanding of forms and customs, and how he might exploit them for his own gain - as we see later on. It also highlights Edmund's superb self control and acting skills, as well as gaining the reader/audience's sympathy.

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