King Lear: The Use of LettersWilliam Shakespeare used letters as a dramatic device to reveal thecharacters’ loyalty and betrayal in his play King Lear. The purpose of theletter is to develop the plot and reveal the characters’ attributes. Threeletters help to develop the plot and reveal the characters of Edmund, Gloucester,Goneril and Albany. The first letter that appeared on the stage is Edmund’s false letter.
The letter talked about Edgar’s plan to kill to his father, Gloucester. Edmundmade up this letter to plan against his brother Edgar. Edmund lied toGloucester about the letter. This letter developed the subplot in King Lear andit shows us that Edmund betrayed his brother.
Edmund planned to destroy thelove of Gloucester for Edgar, so Edmund can get what he wants. This falseletter revealed that Edmund wasn’t loyal to his family and he betrayed hisbrother. Another important letter that appeared on the stage is talking aboutFrench invasion. This letter was written to Gloucester.Order now
Gloucester decided tohelp Lear after he read the letter. Gloucester worried about Lear and thisrevealed Gloucester s loyalty to the old king. Gloucester told his decision toEdmund after Gloucester finished the letter. Edmund decided to tell Cornwallabout Gloucester s action. Edmund told Cornwall that his father was traitorwho wanted to help France.
Edmund did this to receive more power and get thecredit from Duke of Cornwall. The action of Edmund displayed that he would doanything to get higher rank. He even betrayed his father who is horriblypunished. Edmund becomes the Earl of Gloucester.
Edmund had no loyalty to hisfather. In Act III, the letter was in Albany’s hand. Albany chose to fight theFrench army and that showed his loyalty to England. The last letter on the stage talked about the plan of murder Albany.
Itwas written by Goneril to Edmund. Goneril didn’t love her husband and plannedto kill him. Goneril wanted Edmund to be her husband. The letter proved thatGoneril was going to betray her husband, Albany.
This also means she wouldbetray their marriage. In King Lear, letters developed the story and displayed the characters’loyalty or betrayal. Edmund’s false letter showed the betrayal between brothers. Edmund used the letter about French invasion to get higher rank by betray hisfather, Gloucester.
Gloucester decided to help Lear once he knew of theinvasion. Albany would fight for England even he knew the army trying to rescueLear. Goneril sent a letter about the betrayal of Albany, her husband. Theactions and reactions of the characters had showed their loyalty and betrayalwhen there is a letter in King Lear.English