Earl of Kent / Caius
Although banished, Kent disguises himself in an effort to stay close to his king. Kent is honest — he will not lie to his king — and he is truly selfless, devoted to Lear. When his attempts to protect Lear from his own impetuous nature fail, Kent assumes the guise of an ordinary man and resolves to protect his king. When queried by Lear as to his identity, Kent replies that he is "a man" (I.4.10). Thus, he is no one special, and yet, he stands apart from many other men. Kent is a man defined by integrity, whose goodness is immeasurable, as is his love for his king. Kent's destiny is irrevocably connected to that of the king's, as the final scene of the play reveals. In rejecting Albany's offer to rule the kingdom with Edgar, Kent reveals that he will soon join his king in death. Clearly, Kent feels that his job on earth is to serve his king, and with that job now ended, he anticipates his own death.