King Lear: Act 3, Scene 1

On the heath, a storm is raging, as Kent goes off in search of Lear who is missing in the storm, since he left his daughters. A knight informs Kent that Lear is somewhere in the area, along with his fool.

Kent tells the knight that there is bad blood festering between Cornwall and Albany and that there are French spies in the English court. ‘From France there comes a a power Into this scattrered kingdom….have secret feet In some of our best ports.’

Kent tells the knight to go to Dover, where he will find allies of Lear’s who may be willing to help him. He gives the knight a ring, which is to be given to Cordelia, if he sees her and she will know who has sent him.

Kent leaves the knight to go off in search of Lear. We see how loyal Kent is in this scene, he still has the best interests of Lear at heart, despite the fact that Lear banished him from the kingdom. His loyalty cannot be questioned and the lengths he goes to help his master is in contrast to the treatment of Lear at the hands of his daughters who won the love test.

Questions:

  1. ‘One minded by the weather,’ what does the knight mean when he compares Lear’s mind to the weather?
  2. What does the knight tell Kent about Lear’s behaviour? Explain in your own words.
  3. Where does Kent send the knight and for what reason?
  4. ‘Loyalty can often come from those we least expect it.’ Do you agree with this statement based on this scene?
  5. What does Lear want the storm to do to him? What does this suggest about his state of mind?

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