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King Lear

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Regan and Cornwall’s Ambiguous Sovereignty: Act 3, Scene 7

KINGLR-C7EYJH

In Act 3, Scene 7, both Regan and Cornwall intimate that they now consider themselves sovereign in Lear’s kingdom, while recognizing this sovereignty has limits.

What suggests this sovereignty, and what is its limitation?

A

They think they can revenge Gloucester however they please, and yet they are both still subject to the will of the gods.

B

They think they can revenge Gloucester however they please, and yet neither of them can punish Gloucester unless they both agree on the course of action.

C

They use the language of “traitorship” and “treason” in reference to Gloucester, and yet they recognize that they cannot kill him without the authority of a formal trial.

D

They use the language of “traitorship” and “treason” in reference to Gloucester, and yet the army that has just landed from France acts as a limitation to their jurisdiction.

E

They can take over the castles of their subjects at will, and yet the letters that have just arrived from France contain checks upon their sovereignty.