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King Lear Acts III-IV Essay

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Act 3 Summary

There is a strong storm on the heath. Kent, who is looking for the king, goes to one of the king’s knights and realizes that the king is around that place. The Knight is given secret information by Kent that there is conflicts between Cornwall and Albany and that the French spies are in the English courts. Kent goes on to tell the knight to travel to Dover where he may get people who will assist the cause of King Lear. The knight is given a ring and told to give it to Cordelia. Cordelia will know who has sent the knight after seeing the ring.
The king is seen wandering around in the storm. He does not like the weather. He has different thoughts in his mind. On the other hand, in the castle, Edmund is talking with Gloucester who is worried. Edmund is told that there may be a conflict between Cornwall and Albany. He is also told that a French army is conquering and part of the army is already in England. Gloucester wants to support King Lear.

Act 3 Analysis

In the play, there are rumors that there is a conflict between Cornwall and Albany. There are possibilities that a war will arise between England and France. It is clearly seen that King Lear by giving his power away to Regan and Goneril and later to Edmund, has ruined the whole authority. Instead of the kingdom being stable and controlled by King Lear, there is a lot of chaos. This makes the kingdom to be at the villains mercy who want power. When Lear is speaking to the storm, it means that he is not happy with the natural world.

Act 4 Summary

Edmund and Goneril reach outside the palace. Goneril articulates astonishment that Albany did not meet the two on the way. Goneril is told by Oswald that Albany is not pleased with Regan’s and Goneril’s actions. Albany is happy to understand that the French army has come and sorry to understand that Goneril will go back home. This makes Goneril to know that Albany is not her ally anymore and condemns Albany’s cowardice, undertaking to proclaim greater control over the military forces of her husband. Goneril tells Edmund to go back to Cornwall’s house and organize Cornwall’s army for fighting against the French army. Albany comes and condemns Goneril harshly. He is mad at the news that Regan’s and Goneril’s abuse have driven King Lear mad. Albany is insulted angrily by Goneril and accused of being a coward.

Act 4 Analysis

The theme of betrayal reappears in this scene. Cornwall dies, and Albany turns against Goneril who is his wife. He also turns against his wife’s friends, Edmund and Regan. The unexpected finding by Albany of a conscience after observing the cruelty of his wife raises the redemption theme. This offers the likeliness that even a deceptively wicked character can gain his goodness and try to make replacements. Significantly, the attacks of Albany on his wife echo the words of King Lear: “O Goneril! / You are not worth the dust which the rude wind / Blows in your face.” Goneril is told this by Albany after what she did to King Lear (30-32). Like the King, animal imagery is used by Albany in describing the faithless daughters. “Tigers, not daughters, what have you performed?” Albany asks (41). Goneril is intimidated by Albany and refers to him as a “moral fool” as he criticizes her (59).

Work Cited
Shakespeare, William. King Lear. New York: Signet Classics. 1998. (c. 1608)

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