But when he urged them to give him permission to go out and help Lear, they became angry, took possession of his castle, and ordered him never to speak to Lear or plead on his behalf.
They interrogate him on the letter he received from France and his part helping King Lear.
Consider him well. The first is a report of an invasion from France; the second is a report of civil dissension, of which France is aware. We learn that Lear is battling the elements in a fury, raging against the world and tearing his hair.
Lear acknowledges that justice comes from man and heaven. And yet, Lear remains a sympathetic character, one who fears for his own mental balance — "My wits begin to turn" III.
But in this scene, there is a new reason for the Fool's existence. This genuinely heroic behavior sets Gloucester apart from Edmund. Betraying his father will provide Edmund with the position and wealth he craves. Lear empathizes with the beggar and believes he sees humanity in him.
He has sincerely been led astray in his trust and loyalty and thus plunges into a darkness and a madness which the storm, the hovel, and the night quite literally and symbolically portray.
Gloucester plans to go find him and aid him until the forces arrive to help.