Edmund’s illegitimacy seems to be the cause of his villainy. He speaks of this with anger “With ‘base,’ with ‘baseness,’ ‘bastardy,’ ‘base,’ base,” and this is made worse by him way his father talks about his conception. The reason for his feelings about his birth may well be because, as the illegitimate son, he cannot inherit and he feels a great sense of injustice about this.

Tragic Villain

Edmund’s plot relies on the gullibility of his father and brother. They both believe his plot and it results in his brother having to flee. Edmund continues to plot and scheme and this results in the blinding of Gloucester. At the very end of the play Edmund does try to save Cordelia so there is a move to redemption but his orders are too late and Cordelia has been killed.

Is Edmund purely evil?
Your answer should include: Plots / Against / Lear / Father / Tries / Save / Cordelia