King Lear Summary Act II

There is a possible conflict between Goneril and Regan over Edmund. The Earl of Gloucester believes Edmunds revelation that Edgar plans to kill him. When Kent arrives at Regan’s castle with a letter from Lear He gets into a fight with Oswald Goneril’s steward. They fight and Kent is imprisoned in stocks.

Edgar meanwhile delivers his soliloquy claiming that he must live in hiding as a beggar if necessary as no place is safe for him. When Lear arrives and sees Kent in stocks he is angry and tries to find out what Happened. Before he can do so he sees Goneril who has come to visit Regan and then realizes the two daughters are actually conspiring against him. Regan will allow Lear to stay providing he dismisses all his Knights, but Lear refuses. An important yet nondescript figure throughout the play is the fool which accompanies Lear and Kent delivering his own puns and riddles that describe Lear’s predicament. When Lear finds out about Regan and Goneril, the fool makes an apt quote based on a proverb

“Fathers that wear rags, shall see their children blind but fathers that bear Bags shall see their children kind”…(act ii , iv,39-43).

The fool insinuates that children would behave better when their parents have much to offer them. In Lear’s case he has become a beggar by giving away everything to his daughters and their greed now blinds them.

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