King Lear was a story of patience and loyalty. It really demonstrates a complex and morality-based play that will forever be timeless. There is this recurring motif throughout the play that comments on the value of enduring pain plus the perseverance through that pain. A character in King Lear that truly embodies these values is Edgar. Edgar really struck me as a character as soon as he was deceived in the first act. Right away, he was thrown aside by his brother, Edmund, and even unowned by Gloucester, his father, just so Edmund could become the heir over Edgar.
Edgar and Edmund represent this brotherly bond that is twisted by a very relevant power dynamic: Natural vs Unnatural. While this dynamic is seen in many other aspects of the play, it is most prevalent in Edmunds craving to receive power over Edgar, who has the “natural” power. I think while it’s important to notice the wrongs within society that values natural over unnatural, it should be pointed out that Edgar, throughout the play, is actually able to be placed on the same footing as Edmund, who had been treated poorly his whole life. Edgar was pushed, brutally into an unnatural state where he struggled through things we could not even imagine experiencing. He was ripped of his identity and lived as a beggar in order to survive and still gain knowledge of the kingdom. Throughout the hardships he encountered, his patience was admirable. Not once did he give up nor lose his drive to get back to where he was. This is what I like most about Edgar–his ability to face the unnatural with heart and passion. Another admirable thing about Edgar was his loyalty and love for his father. Edgar knew that his father was innocent and just trying to be the best father he could be, even if he was easily deceived.
Edgar proves that with a good cause, people can preserve through the worst of situations.
One thought on “The man who never quit”
I love the comparison of Edmund and Edgar to natural and unnatural. I’d be interested to hear your response to some of the other posts about Edmund being the true hero of the story.