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Word Count: 435
Like many villains in Jacobean drama Edmund seethes with frustration about the plague of custom Act 1 Scene 2 that keeps him on the fringes of society His Machiavellian qualities include his political ambition and willingness to use unscrupulous methods to achieve his aims The theme of appearance and reality prevails through Edmunds character We see him as courteous to his father even loyal but through his soliloquys we discover the real Edmund and his ulterior motives to the treatment of his father and others As Edmund says himself he is adaptable and ready to manipulate events to serve his turn all with mes meet that I can fashion fit Act 1 Scene 2 His ability to adopt the right tone in any situation helps him in his progress towards power Edmund seems to subscribe to a savage code survival of the fittest His goddess nature is a brutal anarchic force Edmund never apologises for his wickedness he revels in it right up to the final scene He rejects hierarchy but his own ambitions are worldly really he wants to succeed in societys terms He aims first at Edgars inheritance then at the title of Earl of Gloucester and finally at the throne of England Yet Edmund is subversive The alacrity of his rise is an indication of this He is very successful in Goneril and Regans evil world he is ultimately responsible for the death of three princesses as well as for the cruel maiming of his father His progress is halted to late to save Lear By the end of the final scene Emund has proved himself to be formidably destructive He almost obtains everything he wants However we come to loath everything Edmund stands for We may admire his tenacity intelligence and quick wits enjoy his energetic acting out of roles and the way he takes us into his confidence in his soliloquies but we must reject him as
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