In King Lear, Edmund, resentful of his inferior status to his older brother, betrays his family and frames his brother as a traitor. This strikes me as being quite a bit like what Edmund does in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Is there any evidence of an inspiration, or is the resemblance purely coincidental?

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    The Guardian claims so, but without sources or evidence.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 18:27
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    @Randal'Thor Interesting... so, I may not be completely crazy here. I wish that they provided more evidence or sources for that, though. Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 18:31
  • I just re-read and was thinking this also! His suffering in the book reminds me of Edgar, and Edgar/Edmund, half-brothers, were clearly meant to be flip sides of the same coin. (I doubt it's coincidental, since Lewis was extremely literate, and the best authors tend not to name characters randomly.) But I'm not enough of a Lewis scholar to know if he wrote or spoke about the parallel.
    – DukeZhou
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 20:29

1 Answer 1


As far as I’ve been able to find, Lewis never spoke explicitly about a connection, but as Rand al'Thor noted, others have made the same connection. David L. Johns offers a full chapter in Quakering Theology making the case that the two Edmunds are connected which is fairly compelling. But without any explicit statement from Lewis, we can never say for certain, even if it is likely that Lewis did make the deliberate choice to name his Edmund after Shakespeare’s.

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    Could you summarize Johns' argument? What makes it compelling? Commented May 25, 2022 at 7:42

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