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King Lear Act 3, Scene 5 Summary

  • Meanwhile, back at Gloucester's castle, Edmund's evil plan is progressing nicely. (Cue the evil smirk and hand-rubbing gesture.) He has told Cornwall about his father's forbidden allegiance to Lear and has also showed Cornwall the incriminating, anti-Cornwall letter. (Remember the letter Gloucester showed Edmund back in Act 3, Scene 3?)
  • Edmund humbly suggests that he's made a great sacrifice by placing his loyalty to Cornwall above his filial duty (to his father, Gloucester).
  • Cornwall concludes that it now seems like Edgar's "plot" to kill his father was kind of just Gloucester being such wicked guy and all.
  • Edmund holds up the incriminating letter and says something like: "It's just so awful that I have to tell on my own father, who is clearly a spy and informant for France."
  • Cornwall swears he will punish Gloucester for his treason and then promises Edmund that he will become the new Earl of Gloucester.
  • Cornwall sends Edmund off to find Gloucester and bring him back for punishment.
  • Edmund hopes that when he finds his father, the man will be comforting Lear, because then Gloucester will be doubly implicated for crimes.

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