Edgar is the victim of his illegitimate brother Edmund but also of his father’s failure to see the truth. However, it could be argued that Edgar himself is partially to blame as he too is easily fooled by his brother. Whoever is to blame it results in Edgar losing his position in society and even his own identity.
Edgar’s disguise as Poor Tom plays an important role in revealing Lear’s change into a man who is aware of poverty and the suffering of others. The disguise also means he can help his father once he has been blinded. As Poor Tom his trick on Gloucester so that he thinks he has committed suicide is also important in saving Gloucester from actually taking his own life. Some critics do question Edgar’s decision not to reveal his true identity to his father earlier but when he does do this Gloucester dies so it could be that Gloucester is protecting him.
- What role does Edgar play in King Lear?
- Your answer should include: Victim / Reveals / Lear’s / Change / Helps / Gloucester