Shakespearean Drama. King Lear Knowledge Notes. Chain of Being. The Elizabethan World Picture Elizabethans viewed their world order according to what is called The Chain of Being , much of which worked its way into the literature of the time, including Shakespeare\'s plays.
King Lear Knowledge Notes
The Elizabethan World PictureElizabethans viewed their world order according to what is called The Chain of Being, much of which worked its way into the literature of the time, including Shakespeare\'s plays.
The audience must be able to understand and sympathize with the characters
Eyes and Sight
Madness and Insanity
Nature and Nurture
Cruelty and Violence
Warmth and Cold
· representative of the old regime: weak, elderly, inert, credulous
My services are bound. Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague of custom and permit
The curiosity of nations to deprive me
For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines
Lag of a brother? Why “bastard”? Wherefore “base”?
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as generous, and my shape as true
As honest madam’s issue? Why brand they us
With “base,” with “baseness,” “bastardy,” “base,” “base”—
Who in the lusty stealth of nature take
More composition and fierce quality
Than doth within a dull, stale, tirèd bed
Go to th\' creating a whole tribe of fops
Got ’tween a sleep and wake? Well then,
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land.
Our father’s love is to the bastard Edmund
As to the legitimate.—Fine word, “legitimate”!—
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall top th\' legitimate. I grow, I prosper.
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!
Qualities of a Tragic Hero:
Q- What is the fools role in the play?
Refers to his royal crown
FoolI marvel what kin thou and thy daughters are: they\'ll have me whipped for speaking true, thou\'lt have me whipped for lying; and sometimes I am whipped for holding my peace. I had rather be any kind o\' thing than a fool: and yet I would not be thee, nuncle; thou hast pared thy wit o\' both sides, and left nothing i\' the middle:
He is a consummate liar
He is manipulative
He cuts his own arm to add credence to his lies saying Edgar injured himHis father believes him and calls him loyal and natural
Lear’s tragic plight
Natural order is disturbed
Contending with the fretful element:Bids the winds blow the earth into the sea,Or swell the curled water \'bove the main,That things might change or cease; tears his white hair,Which the impetuous blasts, with eyeless rage,Catch in their fury, and make nothing of;
Catch in their fury, and make nothing of;Strives in his little world of man to out-scornThe to-and-fro-conflicting wind and rain.This night, wherein the cub-drawn bear would couch,The lion and the belly-pinched wolfKeep their fur dry, unbonneted he runs,And bids what will take all.
A symbol is something such as an object, picture, written word, sound, or particular mark that represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention.
Lear is trying to face down the powers of nature, an attempt that seems to indicate both his despair and his increasingly confused sense of reality.
Most savage and unnatural!
Edgar, who is pretending, ‘a poor, bare, forked animal’ (105-106), is seen by Lear as the most accurate picture of the human condition on stage. Is this a reflection of Lear’s muddle as he descends into madness, or a reflection of the play’s deeper truth?)
EvilThis play deals with evil inherent in humankind and also with supernatural evil. We see the hell-on-earth, which ensues when humankind surrenders to the seductive power of evil in this play. Evil is portrayed in the action particularly in the murder of Duncan and Macduff’s family. We also see the profound and absolute evil in the witches. The witches are intended to represent the metaphysical world of evil spirits. Their meetings take place in conditions suggestive of cosmic disorder. Their function on a symbolic level is to mirror the spirit of evil roaming around Scotland. All their actions are a perversion of the natural order. It is Banquo who recognizes the satanic quality of the witches in his question,’ can the devil speak thus?’ He also recognizes their manner of working ‘ the instruments of darkness tell us truths, win us with honest trifles, to betray’s in deepest consequence.’