- Created by: Pip Dan
- Created on: 20-09-17 16:22
Kent exemplifies loyalty and the idea of a good servant in the play. He is as loyal, if not more, than Oswald but unlike him Kent understands the need to challenge the unjust actions of his employer. Kent shows ultimate loyalty to Lear, from undergoing disguise to even wanting to join with Lear in death. Whilst it could be questioned whether Kent should be more concerned for his own wellbeing, his actions are far more healthy than Oswald's unconditional loyalty whilst Kent does challenge Lear's actions.
Like Edgar, Kent allows the audience to the value what dishonesty can have for survival. Opposed to the selfish lies of Edmund, Kent bends the truth to protect himself and continue to look after Lear. The very act of disguising himself as Caius to protect Lear, shows Kent's ultimate loyalty to Lear. In Gregory Doran's production of the play Kent even shaves his head to create his disguise and it is this severity of deception which shows Kent's loyalty. If discovered Lear could kill him but Kent choses to continue to serve his old master despite the mortal danger.
Kent undoubtedly stands for the old order, where Lear is King and Britain is united. His support for this is unwavering as he suggests loyalty to Goneril or Regan. However, he does question the leadership of Lear. Suggesting that he does want change but in no way to the radical extent of Edmund. Kent questioning of Lear dividing the Kingdom shows loyalty to him but also a sense of criticism. He supports Cordelia in her attempt to the change what was happening and not submit to Lear. So whilst Kent is dedicated to Lear's leadership, he does not do so blindly.
There is great irony of Kent being in disguise for most of the play and yet being one of the most honesty and blunt characters. In a play which is riddled with dishonesty Kent remains truthful on the most part. Kent's not afraid to be blunt when he tells Lear he's a fool for believing that Goneril and Regan care about him. However, Kent's honesty does mean that he is quite blunt which is perhaps not the most positive characteristic. An example of…