A Short Passage on the Duke of Kent

Kent was my favorite character in King Lear. I found his character to be compelling and his ideology interesting. one of my favorite Kent moments was in act 2 scene two, wherein William Shakespeare channels all of his inner rage towards the mortal plane to write a string of insults spanning half a page, of course spoken by Kent, talking to Oswald. Believing him to be a spineless weasel willing to betray the king for power, he pulls a sword on Oswald(a nobleman) and risks is life for his ideals. Kent here really demonstrates a central point of his character, that being adherence to royal authority. one of Kent’s most important traits is his loyalty to the king, even implying that he killed himself after Lear died. after being banished just for speaking his mind, Kent returns to the king to serve him disguised as a commoner. he stays with the king, even when everyone but his fool has abandoned him and he’s alone in the rain. but this fierce loyalty is one lens from which to view what i believe to be the central theme of the book, being power and how one loses it. Kent, who remained unflinchingly loyal to the end, was an exception to the rule as the crafty Edmund, Goneril, and Regan all plotted against him once they felt he no longer had enough power to oppose their attempts to subvert him and his authority.

2 thoughts on “A Short Passage on the Duke of Kent

  1. Amelia R.

    I found that at some points I really liked Kent and at other times I really disliked him. I think he definitely stuck to his morals and did not let anything stop him from following through with them. Although, I felt his trash-talking Oswald was pretty unwarranted and rude. It made me doubt his character.


  2. Olivia M

    I also really liked act 2 scene 2 but it didn’t make me very fond of Kent. However, I do agree that this scene revealed a lot about Kent and I can understand how his intense loyalty makes him a good character.


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