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Edgar Mad and Sane In King Lear by William Shakespeare a theme that is seen in several characters is madness Madness in Elizabethan times was a complex state of mind commonly associated with beggars called Tom O Bedlam Edgar the Duke of Gloucesters eldest son is shown going from a respectable nobleman to a Poor Tom Edgar is thrust into this sudden change of character after his brother Edmund accuses him of being a traitor to their father Edmund instills fear in Edgar by saying he should fear for his life causing Edgar to transform Edgar is not actually mad when he is disguised however he plays off of other characters acting as a madman While in his Poor Tom state Edgar learns the value of being a natural man and in addition valuing his privilege of inheritance These realizations therefore help him out of his madness At the end of the play Edgar is a transformed character because of the adjustment he has gone through Edgar is a respectable character when we first meet him in the play Since he is the oldest son of Gloucester he will inherit all of his fathers possessions when Gloucester dies Edgar neither abuses or acknowledges this privilege he simply takes it as part of his role in the family When Edmund frames Edgar for betraying their father he becomes fearful and flees from his troubles By running away he has a chance to survive a chance to start over and escape his tainted identity When deciding to become a Poor Tom Edgar states Poor Turlygod Poor TomThats something yet Edgar I nothing am II IV20 From then on Edgar is disguised as a Poor Tom in rags and dirt speaking and acting as a madman While acting as Poor Tom Edgar interacts with Lear and other characters with they all believing that he is nothing more than a poor beggar We see Edgar more and
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