King Lear

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Edgar’s/Poor Tom’s Soliloquy: Act 3, Scene 6


After Gloucester enters with the news that Lear’s life is in danger at the end of Act 3, Scene 6, the characters leave the stage to try to get the king safely to Dover. Edgar remains on stage alone, and his are the final lines of the scene:

When we our betters see bearing our woes,
We scarcely think our miseries our foes.
Who alone suffers suffers most i' the mind,
Leaving free things and happy shows behind:
But then the mind much sufferance doth o'er skip,
When grief hath mates, and bearing fellowship.
How light and portable my pain seems now,
When that which makes me bend makes the king bow,
He childed as I father'd! Tom, away!
Mark the high noises; and thyself bewray,
When false opinion, whose wrong thought defiles thee,
In thy just proof, repeals and reconciles thee.
What will hap more to-night, safe 'scape the king!

What do these lines suggest Edgar has realized in this scene?

Select ALL that apply.


That neither his outlawed state nor his disguise as Poor Tom are permanent.


That he can finally now reveal that he is Edgar.


That every individual tragedy is, in part, a performance.


That it is better to suffer in company than to suffer alone.


That it is easier to suffer when we see a social superior experiencing the same hardship.