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King Lear the play: EPISODE 5

For those of you who are curious about the parts of the play that are not in our web-series, and would like to see how the episodes correlate with the Acts and Scenes in the Arden version of King Lear, here you go!

Episode 5

Reconciliation.

After Lear’s exit, Edgar asks for news of the approaching battle. Then Oswald, Goneril’s servant, enters. He recognises Gloucester and declares he’ll kill him for the reward. Edgar kills Oswald. As he dies, Oswald asks Edgar to deliver Goneril’s letter to Edmund! He reads the letter which tells Edmund to kill her husband Albany so that she, Goneril, can marry him herself. Edgar takes Gloucester somewhere safe and he says he’ll warn Albany.

(End of Act 4 Scene 6)

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In the French camp, Cordelia and Kent discuss the situation. Lear is brought in and recognises Cordelia. His madness is gone. He apologises to her. They reconcile.

After he has gone we hear that battle is imminent.

(Act 4 Scene 7)

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Regan and Edmund are in the British camp preparing for battle. Regan asks him whether he has slept with Goneril. He denies it.

Goneril and Albany join them. Goneril appears more concerned about her sister and Edmund than about the upcoming battle. Everyone but Albany goes to a strategy conference whereupon Edgar, still in disguise, gives Albany that letter. Edgar says he’ll be back if summoned. Edmund re enters and soliloquises about which sister to choose.

(Act 5 Scene 1)

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Edgar and Gloucester watch the battle and tell us the Lear and Cordelia have lost. He leaves his father telling him not to despair.

(Act 5 Scene 2)

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Final scene.

Edmund enters with Lear and Cordelia as his prisoners.

After Lear and Cordelia exit, Edmund gives an officer a letter. He tells the officer to follow them to the prison and to do what the letter says if he wants to get on in the world. The officer agrees and goes.

Goneril, Regan and Albany enter, as victors. Edmund says he’s sent Lear and Cordelia to prison. The two sisters argue about Edmund. Regan is unwell and it transpires that Goneril has poisoned her. Meanwhile Albany challenges Edmund by producing the letter that proves he and Goneril have been sleeping together.

A trumpet summons the challenger: Edgar arrives, fights Edmund and kills him. Before Edmund dies, Edgar reveals his identity and Edmund tells everyone that he has ordered Lear and Cordelia killed.

Loose ends are tied up: Gloucester has died. Kent arrives. Goneril’s and Regan’s dead bodies are brought in. Goneril has committed suicide, we are told.

Then Lear enters for the final scene carrying Cordelia’s dead body.  Lear dies and Edgar’s lines end the play

(Act 5 Scene 3)

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