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Word Count: 734
In order to understand the characteristic of any character especially Edmund one must be aware of his background In the beginning of the play King Lear the reader views Edmund as a character who should be pitied upon not as how critics assert him to be one of the most evil characters in all of literature This viewpoint of Edmund is evident in the proceeding pages of this play When the reader is first introduced to him through Kent and Gloucesters conversation he learns of the Edmunds bastard status Through Gloucesters bad deed and action society frowns upon the illegitimacy of Edmunds birth Although he has committed no wrong he has no right to inherit his fathers property wealth and title because of his bastard status His father in the opening pages of King Lear asserts But I have a son sir by order of law some year elder than this who yet is no dearer in my account Though this knave came something saucily to the world before he was sent yet his mother fair there was good sport at his making and the whoreson must be acknowledged Ii19 This statement by Gloucester describing Edmunds whoreson status clearly displays Gloucesters love for his son He claims he does not love one son more than the other His love is equally divided between both his sons More importantly Shakespeare successfully used ethos to invoke some sort of initial sympathy from the reader towards Edmund By continually disgracing him and discussing his bastard status Shakespeare was able to make the reader feel kindness and understanding towards Edmund As the play continues and King Lear has divided up his land between his two daughters Goneril and Regan Edmunds true characteristics begin to be apparent One can safely compare him to Machiavelli and Darwins theory survival of the fittest Edmund states in act one scene two Why brand they us With base with
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