King Lear Summary Act V

Edmund is in a dilemma over the fact that both sisters lust for him. Knowing the complexities of his situation he plans on killing Goneril, Regan and Albany later. The British forces defeat the French and Cordelia is captured. Edmund orders the execution of Cordelia and Lear.

Regan now declares she is free to marry Edmund but Albany armed with Gonerils letter exposes Edmund and Goneril’s plot to murder him. Regan is then poisoned by Goneril even as Edmund challenges Albany to a ‘trial by combat’. The audience learns that Goneril has committed suicide while Edgar suited in armor appears as a challenger and wounds Edmund fatally in the ensuing duel. Edgar then reveals his true identity to his father the earl of Gloucester.

A dying Edmund seems repentant enough to try and prevent Lear and Cordelia from execution, However Albany’s men are too late in reaching the execution spot and Lear enters with Cordelia dead in his arms. Lear escaped execution by killing the executioner.

Kent reveals his identity to Lear who is too full of remorse and dies from a heart attack. Albany restores order.

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