Gloucester's elder, legitimate son. Although at first Edgar comes across as a bit naïve, easily duped by Edmund, he later disguises himself successfully as a madman beggar and manages not only to save himself from the death sentence his misled father has pronounced on him, but also to help Gloucester and Lear and to avenge the wrongs committed by his traitorous half-brother.
Edgar Quotes in King Lear
The King Lear quotes below are all either spoken by Edgar or refer to Edgar. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of King Lear published in 2004.
The timeline below shows where the character Edgar appears in King Lear. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, scene 1
...him no less than the other "son" he has "by order of law" (1.1.19) (i.e., Edgar).
Act 1, scene 2
...to the audience that he is plotting to steal the land of his half-brother, "legitimate Edgar" (1.2.17), by winning all his father, Gloucester's, affection.
Act 2, scene 1
...his schemes if he acts boldly and is just a bit lucky. He calls to Edgar to come out of his hiding spot.
Edgar enters. Edmund pretends to be frightened for Edgar's safety. He tells Edgar that Gloucester has...
Act 2, scene 3
In a soliloquy, Edgar explains that he escaped the "hunt" (2.3.3) sent after him by hiding in the hollow...
Act 3, scene 4
...darts back out, reporting that someone is in the hovel: a spirit named Poor Tom. Edgar emerges raving as if possessed by the "fiend," or devil, in his Bedlam beggar disguise....
Act 3, scene 6
...then reports that Lear has gone entirely mad. Gloucester exits as Lear, the Fool, and Edgar enter, raving together. Lear has Edgar and the Fool sit down, announcing that they are...
Act 3, scene 7
...was Edmund himself who betrayed his father. Devastated, Gloucester realizes that he was misled regarding Edgar. He calls upon the gods to forgive him and to help Edgar prosper.
...they find Cornwall and Regan's actions. Resolving to find "the Bedlam" (125), i.e. the disguised Edgar, to lead Gloucester to safety, they first fetch flax and egg whites to help stop...
Act 4, scene 1
Edgar, disguised as Poor Tom, stands in the wind, reflecting that it is best to be...
Act 4, scene 6
Edgar, now dressed as a peasant, pretends to lead Gloucester up a steep cliff, while in...