King Lear Act II and III
Act II, Scene I
o Curan (random player) meets Edmund
o REVEALS that Duke of Cornwall and Regan are
coming to Gloucester’s castle.
o REVEALS that Dukes of Albany and Cornwall will
probably start fighting over land.
o “ear-kissing arguments” whispering secrets
o Edmund asks Edgar if Edgar has talked smack about
Albany or Cornwall.
Act II, Scene I (Cont.)
o Tricks Edgar into drawing his sword to
pretend to defend himself. (Edgar leaves)
o Stabs his own arm to look like Edgar cut him.
o Gloucester reacts by proclaiming that Edgar is
o Says that Edgar stabbed him because Edmund
was about to tell father that Edgar is traitor.
Act II, Scene 1 (cont.)
o Cornwall and Regan enter.
o Regan mistakes Edgar as one of the 100
knights that are riotous and tended Lear.
o Edmund lets her believe it.
o Cornwall aligns himself with Edmund.
o Regan says the reason they are at Gloucester’s
castle is because her father is coming to her
house and she doesn’t want to be there.
Act II, Scene 2
o Kent and Oswald enter –severally. “Severally”
means opposite ends of the stage.
o Oswald does not recognize Kent.
o Kent calls him terrible names and draws a sword on
o Everyone comes running (Edmund, Cornwall,
Regan, Gloucester) to break up the fight.
o Oswald says that he would have hurt Kent, but Kent
is old. This makes Kent even MORE angry.
Scene 2 (cont.)
o Cornwall and Regan decide to punish Kent by
putting him in the stocks.
o Gloucester says they better not do it because Kent is
a servant of the kind.
o Regan and Cornwall do it anyway.
o Kent reads a letter from Cordelia that says she is
coming back from France to help. (This is a secret
letter because she knows Kent is in disguise and
Act II, Scene 3
o Edgar alone near Gloucester’s castle.
o Says he will disguise himself like a crazy
person. Tom O’Bedlam (after Bethlehem
Hospital for the insane.
o Knows everyone is looking for him.
o “Edgar, I nothing am.”
Act II, Scene 4
o Lear discovers Kent and is outraged.
o Kent explains he was just doing his job, and
he was put in the stocks.
o Fool says some silly stuff.
o Lear asks for Regan and Cornwall, but they
won’t come to him. Says they are sick. Sends
Gloucester to get them.
Act II, Scene 4 (Cont.)
o Lear tells Regan that Goneril was mean to
o Regan says maybe Lear deserved it because
his guys were so unruly.
o Lear says that Goneril is mean and horrible,
but Regan would never be a bad daughter.
o Goneril arrives on the scene.
Act II, Scene 4 (Cont.)
o Lear says he will go with Regan. She says he
can only bring 25 knights instead of 50.
o Lear says he will go with Goneril because at
least he can have 50 knights. She says why
can’t he have no knights and let their servants
take care of him?
o Regan agrees. No knights.
Act II, Scene 4 (cont.)
o Lear gets very mad and says he will not stay
with anyone. Runs out into the storm.
o (The storm is a physical representation of the
storm in his mind.
o Cornwall, Regan, and Goneril tell Gloucester
to shut his gate and not let anyone back in.
The knights might counsel Lear to fight with
them. It is better to let him stay outside.
Act III, Scene 1
o Out on the heath. It is a barren place. Windy,
no trees. There’s a storm. Setting is symbolic
of Lear having nothing left.
o Random Gentleman who meets Kent. They
talk about how terrible the king is.
o Kent tells Gentleman that Albany and
Cornwall are going to fight. France has spies
everywhere, and Cordelia is coming to Lear’s
Act III, Scene 1
o Kent gives gentleman his ring (with seal of
identity) to give to Cordelia. Wants
gentleman to tell Cordelia how crappy
everything is. Heads to DOVER.
o Kent and Gentleman both leave.
Act III, Scene 2
o Another part of the heath.
o Lear invites the storm to kill him. He does not
blame the weather. “I am a man more sinned against
o Kent says “Let’s go get some shelter in that hovel.”
o Lear feels sorry for the fool because the fool looks
cold. Says OK.
o Fool makes weird Merlin prediction: about how
everything is backward. NATURE IS REVERSED.
Act III, Scene 3
o Edmund and Gloucester talk.
o Gloucester reveals that he has a letter from
Cordelia –it’s really dangerous to talk about
o Gloucester is going to go tell the king that
Cordelia is coming. Tells Edmund to distract
Cornwall so that nobody knows he’s gone to
Act III, Scene 3 (cont.)
o As soon as Gloucester leaves, Edmund says
“HA! I’m going to tell on my father right
away.” Basically condemning his father to
Act III, SCENE 4 (VERY
o On heath in front of hovel.
o Lear is screaming at the storm. Talks about
his daughters who are horrible.
o Lear takes pity on the Fool who is cold. Tells
Fool to go in hovel.
o REALIZES THAT BEFORE THIS
MOMENT HE NEVER CONSIDERED ALL
THE POOR PEOPLE IN HIS KINGDOM.
ACT III, Scene 4 (Cont.)
o Fool comes running OUT of the hovel
because something creepy is in there. (Edgar)
o Edgar comes out and pretends to see fiends all
o Lear thinks that Edgar must have mean
daughters, too. Why else would anyone act so
Act III, Scene 4 (Cont.)
o Lear takes off clothes to be just like Edgar.
o At his lowest point—a naked man. (Worse than an
animal because animals have fur to protect them.)
o Gloucester arrives! Ta Da! Edgar pretends
Gloucester is a fiend.
o Gloucester offers to take care of Lear, but Lear
wants to stay with Edgar.
o They all go into the hovel. Gloucester says really
dumb stuff: I wish loyal Kent and my son were
Act III, Scene 5
o Edmund reveals the letter to Cornwall.
Cornwall is really mad and says Gloucester
must be captured (and die probably).
o Edmund PRETENDS he is really sad about
that. Edmund also warns Cornwall that if
France is coming, Cornwall has a lot of work
o Finally, Cornwall says that Edmund is now
his loyal SON. Edmund will be Duke of
Act III, Scene 6
o Outside of the hovel, in a dryer place.
o Lear holds a mock trial for his two daughters.
Uses Edgar, Fool and Kent like they are the
o Staring into nothing but seeing his daughters.
(Visions like he is crazy)
o Collapses at the end. Gloucester brings a
stretcher and carries him away to safety.
Act III, Scene 7
o Cornwall sends Goneril to tell her husband
that France is coming.
o Sends Edmund WITH Goneril because he
doesn’t want Edmund to see what they will do
o UH OH! I hope Goneril and Edmund don’t
do anything hanky panky!
Act III, Scene 7
o They capture Gloucester and tie him to a
o Regan plucks his beard. OUCH! Very
o Cornwall pokes out his eye.
o Servant steps in and fights Cornwall.
o Regan stabs servant IN THE BACK!
o Cornwall digs out other eye: “Out! Vile
Act III, Scene 7 (Cont.)
o Gloucester yells “Oh, I wish my good son
Edmund was here to help me!”
o Regan reveals that Edmund turned him in.
o GLOUCESTER BLIND BUT NOW HE
SEES THE TRUTH!
o Cornwall reveals that he has been hurt (will
o Servants go to help Gloucester—they will get
Poor Tom to take Gloucester to Dover.