English Lear CA

  1. Intro
    • Written by William Shakespeare 1603-1605.
    • These years marked the beginning of the Jacobean era.
    • Era filled with worry and paranoia of the jacobean people
    • main reason of paranoia is the change of power from Elizabeth to James I.
    • Shift can be seen in Lear who changes physically, mentally and socially in his decline in power.
    • Themes of madness, loss of power and motif of nothing helps cover main theme: change.
  2. PG 1 points and context
    • Presented in Act 1 Scene 1 as powerful. 
    • Staging- "King Lears Palace" "sennet bearing a coronet" shows his wealth and importance by mentioning properties.
    • Furthermore, shown as important when he speaks through imperatives  "tell me" "speak first" - commanding and powerful, possibly taking power too seriously.
    • Most of his inputs into conversation are long monologues- dominating conversation and everyone around him.
    • Divine right of kings- derived his power from the Gods, only gods could question him.
  3. PG 2 points and context
    • pathetic fallacy in act 3- representing change of Lear mentally and his abrupt mental decline.
    • The storm is a metaphor for Lears loss of control after stupid mistakes and descent into madness.
    • The fool acts as Lears conscious- suggesting how mad Lear has become, can't think for himself.
    • Staging- environmental change around him. Begins in palace, ends in heath- showing loss of power and importance.
    • Accompanied by attendants and sennet, ends with "none but the fool"- Everyone has turned their back on him now that he is out of power
    • Physical change- "unbonneted he runs"- how vulnerable and powerless he has become.
    • The storm is the punishment for Lear in his journey to become a tragic hero.
  4. PG 3 points and context
    • Could be seen as a tyrant in A1 S1 through idea of love test between daughters. Shows he is egotistical, thrives off flattery, fake or not. 
    • Eye motif highlighting his blindness to G and Rs fake speeches and C is is not in the wrong.
    • Irrational and stubborn to create love test- ridiculous way to split a kingdom.
    • "a third more opulent than your sisters"- biased towards one party.
    • This unsettled audience because of recent appointment of James VI- england and scotland didn't get on, he trying to destroy england.
    • Lear's personality could be his flaw, a trait needed for a tragic hero.
  5. PG 4 points and context
    • Emotional change- shows compassion and care for feelings of others. Finally has anagnorsis- asks fool "How dost my boy, art cold?""part of my heart thats sorry yet for thee"- first time Lear worries about others and sorry for others. Shows as result of losing power he lost tyrant personality, now compassionate. 
    • Chain of being- no longer able all other people.
    • Anagnorsis- self aware trait of tragic hero.
  6. PG 5 points and context
    • His power being challenged by C and K, he is stubborn and misusing power. Banishing daughter shows he is irrational again.
    • Becomes violent when challenged by K "laying his hand upon his sword"- lost control of argument and sees violence as a way to regain control. 
    • Reference to violence link to gunpowder plot to kill James VI, as a result of shifting power.
    • Motif of nothing in conversation between a him and C foreshadows that Lear will end up with nothing. He banishes the 2 people who care most about him, relating to eye motif and how blind he is.
  7. PG 6 points and context
    • Still argumentative as he challenges storm. "singe my white head"- implying he is more powerful than the storm. Imperative 'singe'.
    • Appears to not have changed, however admits to have sinned, claims he is more sinned against.
    • Motif of nothing came true.
    • Monosyllabic verbs 'blow' 'crack'- still demanding, no change?
    • Could show how desperate he is to regain the power he once had.
    • Storm represents Lears madness and loss of power, maybe even Lear himself and the damage he has inflicted to the kingdom through his actions.
    • Storm could also represent  the worry and paranoia people had that james VI disrupting laws of nature. 
    • Tragic hero needs to be punishment, Lear serves his in a3 s2.
  8. Conclusion
    • Lear changes physically, socially and most notably mentally after various mistakes. Personality, importance and position change simultaneously as does setting. Highlighting change.
    • Play still applies today, likes of Trump and Jung Un in large positions of power. Both cause fear and unease for people all around the world.
Card Set
English Lear CA
King Lear