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King Lear

William Shakespeare

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Act 4, scenes 6–7

page 3 of 3

Act 4, scenes 6–7

Act 4, scenes 6–7

Act 4, scenes 6–7

Act 4, scenes 6–7

Lear has realized, despite what flatterers have told him and he has believed, that he is as vulnerable to the forces of nature as any human being. He cannot command the rain and thunder and is not immune to colds and fever (the “ague” of 4.6.103). Just as, during the storm, he recognizes that beneath each man’s clothing is “a poor, bare, forked animal” (3.4.99–100), Lear now understands that no amount of flattery and praise can make a king different from anyone else: “Through tattered clothes small vices do appear; / Robes and furred gowns hide all” (4.6.158–159).

Armed with this knowledge, Lear can finally reunite with Cordelia and express his newfound humility and beg repentance. “I am a very foolish fond old man” (4.7.61), he tells her sadly, and he admits that she has “some cause” to hate him (4.7.76). Cordelia’s moving response (“No cause, no, cause”) seals their reconciliation (4.7.77). Love and forgiveness, embodied in Lear’s best daughter, join with humility and repentance, and, for a brief time, happiness prevails. But the forces that Lear’s initial error unleashed—Goneril, Regan, and Edmund, with all their ambition and appetite for destruction—remain at large. We thus turn from happy reconciliation to conflict, as Cordelia leads her troops against the evil that her father’s folly has set loose in Britain.

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ACT 4, SCENES 6–7 QUIZ

What does Edgar pretend to allow Gloucester to do?
Give away his money
Beat him in a fight
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the Gloucester side story

by Merpandderp, April 07, 2013

to help with the side story, think of the movie Thor:

Gloucester: Odin-son
Edgar- Thor (the good brother; gets punished and illegitimate brother takes over for a while)
Edmund-Loki (evil, illegitimate son who is jealous of his brother)

MIND BLOWN. Stan Lee probably read Shakespeare

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35 out of 59 people found this helpful

Help with the Gloucester side story

by Merpandderp, April 07, 2013

it is kind of confusing dealing with King Lear and his three daughters, and then having to deal with Gloucester. My suggestion, think of the movie Thor:

-Gloucester: Odin-son
-Edgar: Thor (the good brother who is supposed to succeed Odin-son/Gloucester when he dies; is deceived by Loki/Edmund and then gets punished)
-Edmund: Loki (the evil, illegitimate brother who is jealous of Thor/Edgar (except Loki was adopted); gets control of the throne for a while)

Hope this helps

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9 out of 13 people found this helpful

Fathers, Sons and Daughters and a Lot of Sorrow

by ReadingShakespeareby450th, December 04, 2013

There's “a time to keep and a time to cast away." King Lear just got his times mixed up, and it gave us a great play. Finished Lear on my way to reading and blogging about them all by April 2014.

In case you're interested in a few of my thoughts on the play, visit my blog (also there, I've linked to a good production of the play that's available on the PBS Great Performances website):

http://ow.ly/rsPRj

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4 out of 6 people found this helpful

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