Explore the Ways in Which Shakespeare Presents Edmund's Manipulation of Gloucester in the Passage. (48 Marks)

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Explore the ways in which Shakespeare presents Edmund’s manipulation of Gloucester in this passage. In your answer you must consider how the playwright uses literary, linguistic and rhetorical devices and conventions to create specific dramatic effects. (48 marks)

Edmund first appears in the play, in Act 1 scene 2 where he delivers his soliloquy. This soliloquy conveys a dramatic irony to the audience and allows them to see Edmund’s true nature and his plans to manipulate Gloucester. “Lag of a brother? Why bastard?”. Edmund’s use of interrogatives conveys to the audience the reasons behind his plot against his brother and expresses and understanding of why Edmund chooses to manipulate Gloucester.

Now that Edmund’s true nature has been revealed to the audience through his soliloquy, we as an audience become aware that his polite terms of address “your lordship” is used solely to manipulate Gloucester and gain his trust. “I hope for my brother’s justification, he wrote this but as an essay of my virtue”. This phrase is used by Edmund to manipulate his father into thinking that his own intentions are pure. He also wishes to manipulate his father into thinking that he has faith in his brother Edgar and that he believes he is innocent, creating a false sense of security within the scene.

Edmund appears to have respect for his father in the scene with his polite term of address and his polite apology: “I beseech you, Sir, pardon me”. This is however a false respect, as Edmund’s whole act of loyalty to his brother is a lie. He is using his manipulation of Gloucester to trick him into believing that his respect for him is true. The phrase “I find it not fit for your o’erlooking” gives the impression to the audience that Edmund is intentionally hiding something from Gloucester, in order to make it appear as though he is protecting his brother from some kind of…...

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