Free Will: King Lear

Topics: Marriage, Legitimacy, Legitimacy law in England and Wales Pages: 4 (1501 words) Published: March 17, 2013
Adam Rosenberg
Section 205-002
King Lear Topic: 1
Do we as humans have our fates predetermined, or do we have free will? In Shakespeare’s King Lear each character struggles with that very question. Edmund, Gloucester’s illegitimate son strikes the best balance between fate and free will. Edmund attempts to get rid of his older brother Edgar who is Gloucester’s legitimate child, Edmund also argues the fact that the sun, moon, and stars really do not guide us in life, and lastly is the relationship Edmund has with himself. Edmund’s approach to each of these situations in the story leaves the reader thinking he has the best balance of fate, and free will. The first example of Edmund displaying a phenomenal balance between free will and fate is his plan to get rid of his older brother Edgar who unlike Edmund was born a legitimate child. First off as an illegitimate child people do not treat Edmund well. Edmund constantly is being ridiculed and judged, Edmund argues an illegitimate child can be just as smart, beautiful a legitimate child. The words illegitimate child and bastard really hurt Edmund and he will stop at nothing to change the way people perceive him. “Stand in the plaque of custom, and permit the curiosity, of nations to deprive me, for that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines lag of a brother? Why bastard? Wherefore base? When my dimensions are as well compact, my mind as generous and my shape as true, as honest madam’s issue? Why brand they us, with base? With baseness? Bastardy? Base, base? Who in the lusty stealth of nature, take more composition and fierce quality than doth within a dull, stale, tired bed, go to creating a whole tribe of fops, got tween asleep and wake? Well, then, legitimate Edgar, I must have your land. Our father’s love is too the bastard Edmund as to the legitimate, Fine word-legitimate! Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed, and my invention thrive, Edmund the base shall top the legitimate. I grow; I...
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