- Gloucester confides in Edmund that he is worried about what Goneril and Regan did to Lear.
- Gloucester tells Edmund that he has received news of a conflict between Albany and Cornwall. He also informs him that a French army is invading and that part of it has already landed in England. Gloucester feels that he must take Lear’s side and now plans to go seek him out in the storm.
- He asks Edmund to make sure that Cornwall does not find out about this as he will end up paying with his life.
- He tells him that there is a letter explaining all of this but to make sure it stays hidden.
- Edmund is delighted at this opportunity and plans to immediately tell Cornwall what is happening, betraying his father in the process.
- Edmund expects to inherit everything when Gloucester is put to death for his betrayal.
- We also see that the French are coming to Lear’s aid, highlighting the true affection, which his daughter Cordelia had for him. Yet it was Cordelia who failed the ‘love-test’ at the beginning of the play.
Key Quotes from the scene:
- “Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow! / You cataracts and hurricanes, spout / Till you have drenched our steeples, drowned the cocks!”-Lear trying to command the weather.
- “Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire, are my daughters: / I tax you not, you elements, with unkindness” Lear tells the thunder that he does not blame it for attacking him because it does not owe him anything. But he does blame his “two pernicious daughters” for their betrayal
- How dost my boy? Art cold?” He adds, “I have one part in my heart / That’s sorry yet for thee” –This is the first sign of Lear showing compassion for another human being. Shows what he has learned since the beginning of the play.