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King Lear: Edmund - The Ultimate Shakespearean Villain - by Lisa Dela Cruz

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Lisa DC

on 6 November 2014

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Transcript of King Lear: Edmund - The Ultimate Shakespearean Villain - by Lisa Dela Cruz

Edmund: The Ultimate Shakespearean Villain
Edmund's Formula
...Edmund uses people as pawns, while Lady Macbeth has to do her own dirty work.
...Edmund is able to control his passions and focus on his goals, unlike Goneril and Regan.
...Edmund is smart enough to not put himself in the middle of the crossfire like Iago does.
A villain is...
Edmund's Death
still tries to manipulate everyone that he had a change of heart

despite his death, Edmund achieved what he wanted
Edmund is the main villain in King Lear

Edmund is most manipulative of others

Edmund is smart enough to not be tagged as the source of suspicion

Edmund had better control of his passions
Edmund's Villainous Qualities
A Villain's Formula
The Best Movie Villain
(powerpoint slide show)
bastard/illegitimate son of Gloucester, born out of wedlock
younger brother of Edgar, Gloucester's legitimate son
no inheritance
was out of the country for 9 years
is looked down upon
treated like a second class citizen
personal problem
looked down upon and treated liked a second class citizen for being a bastard
no inheritance
source of problem
father, Gloucester
older half-brother, Edgar
wants to hold an official title and own property to bury his current title as a bastard
the antagonist of the story, the "bad guy"
the character with immoral motives/intentions
the character with a difficult background
the character that goes against the greater good
the character whose evil actions are the cause of major problems
the character who has a goal opposite of the protagonist's
King Lear
personal problem
source of problem
evil plan
ultimate goal
villainous qualities
successful/failure of a villain
Edmund's Formula
evil plan
get rid of Gloucester and Edgar by turning them against each other and selling them out to others

In comparison to some of the more popular Shakespearean villains,

possess the most successful combination of



, naming him the

ultimate Shakespearean villain.
In comparison to other
Shakespearean villains...
Both Edmund and Lady Macbeth are...
Lady Macbeth gives Macbeth a lot of ear, turning him against King Duncan and Banquo
Edmund manipulates Gloucester and Edgar, starting a feud between them, acting as a messenger

Lady Macbeth wants to be Queen of Scotland
Edmund wants to be the Earl of Gloucester

to own the title as the Earl of Gloucester, take his father's property and strip Edgar from his inheritance
warm up game
a villain is...
a villain's formula
comparisons; Edmund...
vs. Lady Macbeth
vs. Iago
vs. Goneril & Regan
Works Cited
Edmund is the better villain because...
Lady Macbeth has a weak motive of only wanting to become Queen, whereas Edmund's motives are stronger and more passionate
Lady Macbeth has to do her own dirty work and as a result, goes crazy herself and later on commits suicide, whereas Edmund fought until the end
Lady Macbeth was not cut out to be as good a villain as Edmund
Edmund, Goneril and Regan are all...
G & R make Lear believe they love them more than anything
Edmund makes Gloucester believe in the forged letter, and Edmund also makes Edgar believe their father wants to hurt Edgar
they both betray their families, the people they are supposed love and care for
G & R throw out Lear from their palaces and humiliate him
Edmund uses another letter to make Cornwall believe Gloucester is committing treason
"Sir, I love you
more than word can wield the matter;
Dearer than eyesight, space and liberty;
Beyond what can be valued rich or rare;
No less than life,
with grace, health, beauty, honor;
As much as child e'er loved, or father found;
A love that makes breath poor, and speech unable.
Beyond all manner
of so much I love you."

love, love love...
"I am made
Of that self metal as my sister,
And prize me at her worth.
In my true heart
I find she names my very deed of love,
Only she comes too short, that I profess
Myself an enemy to all other joys
Which the most precious square of sense possesses,
And find I am alone felicitate
In your dear Highness' love."

Edmund is a better villain than Goneril and Regan because...
he has better and stonger motives than them
he dies fighting and admits his wrongdoing while Goneril and Regan cop out
he possess more control over his passions than they do
Like many other Shakespearean villains, Edmund possess a broad spectrum of villainous qualities but
in comparison,

Edmund is Shakespeare's ultimate villain for how intricately he manipulates and deceives other people, how calculated and intellectual his actions are, and how much control and focus he has over his passions.
Edmund and Iago are both...

"I had rather lose the battle than that sister
Should loosen him and me."

"...To take the widow
Exasperates, makes her mad her sister Goneril;
And hardly shall I carry out my side,
Her husband being alive.

...Let her who would be rid of him devise
His speedy taking off.

...for my state
Stands me to defend, not to debate."

"Edmund and I have talked,
And more convenient is he for my hand
than of your lady's."

"Don't shoot the messenger"

Lady Macbeth
Iago is not as good a villain
as Edmund because...
Iago lacks the intelligence and skill to calculate and carry out his actions properly -- a sloppy success

Iago puts himself in the crossfire while Edmund conducts the damage from a further position

Edmund can admit his wrongdoings and identify himself as the villain, showing he knows his true nature is evil, unlike Iago
mischievous schemers
Edmund plots his schemes carefully, from the beginning of the play to the end
Iago plans his revenge against Othello through a series of mischievous schemes

Iago goes against Othello, a well-respected army General
Edmund betrays his family
"...I will maintain
My truth and honour firmly."

"What you have charged me with, that have I done,
And more, much more..."

"The wheel is come full circle; I am here."

"...Why brand they us
With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base?"
Ha! I like not that.

What dost thou say?

Nothing, my lord: or if--I know not what.

Was not that Cassio parted from my wife?

Cassio, my lord! No, sure, I cannot think it,
That he would steal away so guilty-like,
Seeing you coming.

I do believe 'twas he.
"When you durst do it, then you were a man;
An to be more than what you were, you would
Be so much more than a man..."
"Bethink yourself wherein you may have offended
him; and at my entreaty forbear his presence until
some little time hath qualified the heat of his displeasure
which at this instant so rageth in him that with
the mischief of your person it would scarcely allay."
seminar by Lisa Dela Cruz
Bloom on King Lear
"But because of that one positive stance towards his own being, Edmund will change at the very end, whereas Iago's final act of freedom will be to pledge an absolute muteness as he is led away to death by torture. " (Bloom, Harold)
Bloom, Harold. "Bloom on King Lear." In Bloom, Harold, ed. King
Lear, Bloom's Shakespeare Through the Ages. New York: Chelsea House Publishing, 2007. Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 5 Nov. 2014

Roy, Kenneth, Harriet Law, Margaret Kortes, and William
Shakespeare. Macbeth. Toronto: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich Canada, 1989. Print.

Roy, Ken, and William Shakespeare. King Lear, Second Edition.
Toronto: Harcourt Canada, 2002. Print.

Shakespeare, William, and Ken Roy. Othello. Toronto: Harcourt
Canada, 2001. Print.
The Dark Knight. Dir. Christopher Nolan. Perf. Christian Bale, Heath
Ledger. n.d. Warner Bros., 2008. Film.

Frozen. Dir. Chris Buck, and Jennifer Lee. Perf. Kristen Bell, Idina
Menzel. n.d. Walt Disney Animation Studios, 2013. Film.

Mean Girls. Dir. Mark Waters. Perf. Lindsey Lohan, Rachel McAdams,
Tina Fey, Amy Poehler. n.d. Paramount Pictures, 2004. Film.
Works Cited
= a successful villain!
Full transcript