… s parentage, but Edmund is painfully aware, and resentful of, his second class status.
As Scene ii of Act I opens, Edmund is in his father’s castle, he speaks the following words:
Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law
My services are bound. Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
The curiosity of nations to deprive me,
For that I am …
… their father, even though of illegitimate birth. While they had little chance of inheriting title, other doors would be opened for them. Edmund’s birth circumstances are a problem for Edmund precisely because he has rejected society’s rules where they apply to him. He has no interest in taking the middle ground, between nameless poverty and legitimate member of his father’s family. He not only …
… middle ground, between nameless poverty and legitimate member of his father’s family. He not only wants to be treated as a legitimate son, he wants to be first in line over his brother, and nothing else will do for him. He appeals to the gods to see the natural order of things and support him in his plan.
How this passage is acted would have a …