Edmund, Gloucester’s illegitimate son, bothers me right from the beginning of the play. Shakespeare repeatedly calls him a “bastard” throughout the play. He’s one of the first characters introduced in King Lear, and we see that his father goes out of his way to let us know he’s his illegitimate son: “Though this knave came something saucily into the world before he was called for, yet was his mother fair; there was good sport at his making, and the whoreson must be acknowledged” (1.1 .17-20). This is what motivates Edmund to do what he does throughout the play. His father has insulted him, and this is why he plots to have his brother, Edgar, falsely accused of plotting to kill their father. Edmund states: “Wherefore should I stand in the plague of custom, and permit the curiosity of nations to deprive me, for that I am some twelve or fourteen moon-shines lag of a brother? Why bastard? Wherefore base? When my dimensions are as well compact, my mind as generous, and my shape as true, as honest madam’s issue? Why brand they us with ‘base, base bastardly? (1.2.2-6). He knows he has been a joke his entire life, and this is why he acts like a “bastard”. For the entire play, Edmund is a villain and he is proud of the evil he does, but he is different from other Shakespearean villains. Even though I hate him, it’s hard not to feel bad for him after what he’s been through. I’m curious to see if he does any good in the end of the play.