RQ: Hist KL, Scene 7

Scene 7

What does Kent say that causes him to be put in the stocks? Does Kent accurately represent his encounter with Oswald(7.1-80) in his narration of events to Lear (7.204-23)?

How does Edgar “preserve” (7.172) himself after he flees his father’s house in Scene 6?

Assess the quality of Lear’s judgement when he says:

Fiery? The Duke?–tell the hot Duke that Lear–
No, but not yet. Maybe he is not well.
Infirmity doth still neglect all office
Where unto out health is bound. We are not ourselves
When nature, being oppressed, commands the mind
To suffer with the body. I’ll forebear,
And am fallen out with my more headier will,
To take the indisposed and sickly fit
For the sound man.–Death on my state,
Wherefore should he sit here? This act persuades me
That this remotion of the Duke and her
Is practice only. (7.265-75).

“Nature” and description of the nature world shows up throughout Scene 7. Do the different instances contradict one another? Can we say that all the references to nature and natural imagery add up to a theory of nature/natural world? Consider some of the following: 

Kent “Nature disclaims in thee; a tailor made thee” (7.51-2)

Edgar The country gives me proof and precedent
Of Bedlam beggars who with roaring voices
Strike in their numbed and mortified bare arms
Pins, wooden pricks, nails, sprigs of rosemary (7.179-81)

Lear Return to her, and fifty men dismissed?
No, rather I abjure all roofs, and choose
To be comrade with the wolf and owl,
To wage against the enmity of the air
Necessity’s sharp pinch. (7.364-68)

Lear’s speech at the end of the scene that begins, “O, reason not the need!…Or ere I’ll weep–O fool, I shall go mad!” (7.423-44)

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