Motif in King Lear

Motif Examples in King Lear:

Act V - Scene III 1

"Whose age has charms in it, whose title more, To pluck the common bosom on his side,(55) An turn our impressed lances in our eyes Which do command them...."   (Act V - Scene III)

Here, Edmund identifies the danger in Lear’s popularity: his old age, and his former title as king endear him to the common people. To prevent the people from turning against Albany, Edmund claims that he has sent Lear and Cordelia to prison. Notice that Edmund uses “pluck” when he describes Lear’s charismatic power over the common people. This “pluck” echoes the “plucking” of Gloucester’s beard, and Goneril’s command to “pluck out his eyes.” In this way, “pluck” seems to suggest violence or signal nefarious action within this play.