The feud between Edmund and Edgar was one of the key subplots in King Lear. It told a story of betrayal, trust, and manipulation, and much of what happened in the play was due to either of the brothers. In the play’s second act, the rivalry begins when Edmund cuts himself with a sword and frames Edgar. The dominos fall soon after as Gloucester and the kingdom turn on Edgar. It’s later revealed that destroying Edgar’s reputation was the first step in Edmund’s attempt to overthrow the system and take over the power. Edgar realizes this and chooses to fake his death and run away. He takes on the new identity of Poor Tom and does everything in his power (or lack thereof) to hide who he really is. Throughout the play, Edmund sees his plan come to life and is close to getting what he wants. As Regan and Goneril enter the picture and fight over Edmund, Edgar guides a lost King Lear and helps him see a new side of the world. The brothers remain vital characters throughout the play and even have a standoff at the end. The play ends with the long-lost Edgar finally defeating the person who ruined his life and becoming the kingdom’s next ruler.
Edmund and Edgar having their own subplots helped the entire flow of King Lear. Without the two of them, there would be a lot of holes in the plot, especially toward the end. Edmund was manipulating what happened in the kingdom and was part of many decisions that would be significant to the story. On the other hand, Edgar was with a broken Lear and a blind Gloucester. The two played incredible parts in the play and connected the puzzle together. Without the conflict between Edgar and Edmund, the events in King Lear would not have happened. They are the two most important characters in the entire play, and because of them, the Tragedy of King Lear is a legend in literature and one of the greatest plays ever.