King Lear | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Act 5, Scene 2

Professor Regina Buccola of Roosevelt University provides an in-depth summary and analysis of Act 5, Scene 2 of William Shakespeare's play King Lear.

King Lear | Act 5, Scene 2 | Summary



Cordelia leads Lear across the stage and exits, followed by the sounds of battle. Edgar enters, leading Gloucester. He leaves his father under a tree briefly and exits; his return is announced by fainter sounds of battle. "King Lear hath lost," he tells his father; he adds that Lear and Cordelia have been captured. Gloucester says the spot is as good a place to die as any, but Edgar convinces him to persevere a little longer, and they exit.


This scene is an interlude between the fighting set in motion in the previous scene and the outcome revealed in the following scene. Gloucester's admission that he is ready to die foreshadows his impending death. It is also important to help the audience understand the pacing and order of the story. With little scenery, props, or special effects, the chronology of the play must be in some ways overstated to the audience.

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