Throughout this play we have seen King Lear’s mind slowly deteriorating. Act 3, Scene 2 might be the beginning of his breaking point. King Lear is standing with his fool in a very dangerous storm screaming at the sky saying “Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!/You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout/Till you have drench’d our steeples, drown’d the cocks”(3.2.3-5). He yells at the storm saying he deserves to be struck by lightning because of how he treated his daughter, Cordelia. The storm, symbolic of the psychological turbulence inside Lear’s mind, he says is not at fault for “I tax not you, you elements, with unkindness;/I never gave you kingdom, call’d you children” (3.2.15-16). King Lear pities himself saying “I am a man/ More sinn’d against than sinning”(3.2.49-50).
As the fool and Kent try to coax King Lear to shelter, Lear struggles with them until he finally admits that he is going crazy saying “My wits begin to turn” (3.2.59). He has a moment of compassion though, looking at his fool, standing cold in the storm and says “Poor fool and knave, I have one part in my heart/ That’s sorry yet for thee” (3.2.64-65). In Act 3, Scene 4, Lear, although previously said he would go with them inside, refuses. He protests with “Let me alone” and blames Goneril and Regan (3.4.6). “To shut me out! Pour on; I will endure./ In such a night as this! O Regan, Goneril! / Your old kind father, whose frank heart gave all,–“ (3.4.22-24). His mind wanders to feeling pity for himself then to the poor. He constantly blames his daughters and feels terrible about banishing Cordelia.
It is interesting to see the dialogue between King Lear and the disguised Edgar as Poor Tom. We can see King Lear as truly crazy in comparison to Edgar who is just acting. King Lear actually goes along with him and feels bad for him. It is thought-provoking that even though Lear is King, he is vulnerable to the storm. He cannot command it to stop like he usually would. I think this scene further illustrates how human the King actually is. He is powerless against the storm and against his daughters. His fate has turned because he gave up his power. Will there be anyway to stop the storm inside his head and get his power back?