King Lear - The Role of Astrology
In Act I. ii., Edmund makes a speech in which he discusses his father's belief in astrology (or at least in the influence of the sun and moon on earthly events):
This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune--often the surfeit of our own behavior--we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars: as if we were villains by necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers, by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers, by an enforced obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on: an admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star! My father compounded with my mother under the dragon's tail; and my nativity was under Ursa major; so that it follows, I am rough and lecherous. Tut, I should have been that I am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing. - Edgar-
1. What is Edmund's attitude toward his father's ideas?
2. Read the speech below and underline (or make a list of) at least five words or phrases that refer to stars, planets or other heavenly bodies.
3. Use a thesaurus to find at least one other such word or phrase.
4. Using the search feature on an on-line version of King Lear find other references to four of these words or phrases in the play.
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