Disguise in King Lear

Throughout the play, King Lear, Shakespeare uses disguise as a major role in his characters. At the beginning of the play, Regan and Goneril disguise themselves in front of their father, to make it seem that they worshipped him. Many of the character disguise their intentions towards other characters, as well as pretend to be someone they’re not.

Kent disguises himself as a beggar, and even changed his name to “Caius”, so that he can cntinue to sere Lear. Obviously, this shows that Kent is extremely loyal to Lear, but many of the characters use disguise as a way to make personal gain.

For example, Edgar disuises himself as a poor person named “Poor Tom”, in an effort to not be tracked by his brother and other men. Edgar really gets into this character, and this disuise ultimately allows him to confront his father. Edgar ulyimately becomes the next ruler of the kingdom, so the use of disguise ultimately beneffited him.

Edmund, Edgar’s brother, also dusguises himself as the “good son”, and uses many efforts to frame Edgar, saying that Edgar had intentions to kill his father Gloucester. Like some of the other characters, Edmund uses disguise for his own personal gain.

Shakespeare uses disguise as a constant motif throughout the play, and the use of disguise really showcases the values of each person using that disguise, and what kind of person they really are.

One thought on “Disguise in King Lear

  1. CASEY M

    I think that the disguise motif has a big impact on the story and the depiction of the characters. However, you describe Edgar as selfish or using it for personal gain, which I slightly disagree with. While he disguised himself as Poor Tom for his own well-being and safety, I don’t think that it is with the intent of gaining power in the royal court or with similar intent to Edmund, it was simply a coincidence that he ended up in power.


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