King Lear

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Edmund’s Closing Soliloquy: Act 5, Scene 1

KINGLR-BN@Y0N

Edmund closes Act 5, Scene 1 with this soliloquy:

To both these sisters have I sworn my love;
Each jealous of the other, as the stung
Are of the adder. Which of them shall I take?
Both? one? or neither? Neither can be enjoy'd,
If both remain alive: to take the widow
Exasperates, makes mad her sister Goneril;
And hardly shall I carry out my side,
Her husband being alive. Now then we'll use
His countenance for the battle; which being done,
Let her who would be rid of him devise
His speedy taking off. As for the mercy
Which he intends to Lear and to Cordelia,
The battle done, and they within our power,
Shall never see his pardon; for my state
Stands on me to defend, not to debate.

What are Edmund’s concerns here?

Select ALL that apply.

A

Arguing for Britain’s position in the imminent war against France.

B

Disentangling himself from the knot of having promised himself to both Goneril and Regan.

C

Making use of Albany’s power in order to defeat France.

D

Getting rid of Albany after his power has been of service to Edmund in the war.

E

Getting rid of both Lear and Cordelia after the war has been won.