EDMUND, [to Edgar]: “What you have charged me with, that have I done, And more, much more. The time will bring it out. ‘Tis past, and so am I (Act 5, Scene 3).”
It’s seemed impossible, as the years have progressed, to go through a single English class without having the luxury of reading one of Shakespeare’s brilliant plays. From Romeo & Juliet to Julius Caesar, the similar underlying themes and patterns carried through each play do not go unnoticed. After discovering Edmund’s true character at the beginning of the play, his evil demeanor has been persistent all the way through Act 5 when he finally kills his step-brother, Edgar. Edmund’s character has consistently reminded me of Iago from another Shakespeare play, titled Othello.
In the SparkNotes description of Othello, Iago is upset with Othello because he has been passed over for promotion in his kingdom. Iago sets out to defeat Othello by blaming Roderigo, a dumb-founded rich man, and Cassio, an inexperienced solider, for numerous troubles throughout the kingdom that cause Othello to become angered, with no idea that it is actually Iago behind it all. In the midst of the plotting and scheming, there are love struggles, and in the end, Iago loses his battle.
Just like Iago, Edmund loses his battle to Edgar and ends up dying after all. It makes it seem like one of Shakespeare’s underlying themes involves the act of betrayal and the back lash it will most likely have on the one at fault. For the amount of work that gets put in to the act of putting the blame on everyone else so no one suspects the actual culprit, it never ends up working out in their favor. It definitely keeps the plays interesting, and makes the evil character one of the more intriguing ones that is exciting to follow along with throughout the play.