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King Lear

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Dramatic Irony: Act 3, Scene 3

KINGLR-FWLO97

Act 3, Scene 3 opens with this conversation between Gloucester and Edmund:

GLOUCESTER
Alack, alack, Edmund, I like not this unnatural dealing. When I desired their leave that I might pity him, they took from me the use of mine own house; charged me, on pain of their perpetual displeasure, neither to speak of him, entreat for him, nor any way sustain him.

EDMUND
Most savage and unnatural!

What is the source of dramatic irony in this conversation?

A

Gloucester does not recognize that his expulsion from his own house mirrors Edgar’s being proclaimed an outlaw.

B

Gloucester was not present for Edmund’s soliloquy in Act 1, Scene 2, and so does not know that he shouldn’t trust either of his children.

C

Gloucester doesn’t realize that the son to whom he is speaking is going to treat him as “unnaturally” as Lear’s daughters are presently treating Lear.

D

Gloucester doesn’t realize that Edgar is actually the son he should be making this complaint to.

E

Edmund really believes that what Lear’s daughters are doing to Lear is “savage.”