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Word Count: 691
After reading King Lear and studying the role of Edgar at some length it is hard not to be disappointed with the outcome of Edgars role He performs so many roles and functions that he seems to just be a plot device Not much time was spent by Shakespeare on establishing Edgars qualities and virtues prior to starting him off on his journey of role playing Through this role playing it is possible to detect progression in Edgars character as he moves from one role to another He grows in stature through his use of disguises He is forced to assure the garb of a madman to preserve his life but his final disguise - masked avenger - enables him to take command of his own fate and that of others Initially Edgar seems weak credulous to us today but we cannot forget that Jacobean audiences would have understood that good characters were easy to fool Villains were excepted to be cunning so that their evil intentions were impossible to detect Edgars willingness to be guided by Edmund might be seen as proof of his worthiness Shall I hear from you anon He is sure of his honesty and proclaims his innocence I am sure ont not a word He follows his brothers advice flees and disguises himself as Poor Tom My face Ill grime with filth and with presented nakedness outface The winds and persecutions of the sky Act 2 Scene 3 On the heath the role of Poor Tom the lunatic beggar is given a lot of importance we notice that the fake madman helps Lear as he interact with the madman his humanity ad understanding increase Through Poor Toms comments about Lear and Gloucesters suffering he guides the audiences or readers response towards the two patriarchs Bless thy five wits My tears begin to take his part so much They mar my counterfeiting Act 3 Scene 6 Although
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