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Week 7 Notes

by: Shelby Flippen

Week 7 Notes ENGL 221

Shelby Flippen

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Shakespeare's King Lear - Acts 1-3
British Literature to 1798
K. Attie
Class Notes
William Shakespeare King Lear Act 1 2 3
25 ?




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Shelby Flippen on Friday March 25, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENGL 221 at Towson University taught by K. Attie in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see British Literature to 1798 in Foreign Language at Towson University.


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Date Created: 03/25/16
Shakespeare’s King Lear 1   Style  Rhetoric as an elaborate disguise/ruse  Language of division  Prose with a touch of rhyme ­ Kent’s rhyme (1259) to emphasize the words and slow the reader down  Language of Nothing ­ Note: nothing and noting were pronounced the same way during this time  Anachronism (something not matching the current time period) ­ Mentioning King Arthur  Doubling of plot: (treachery vs. loyalty) ­ Sons of Gloucester: Edmund and Edgar  ­ Daughters of King Lear: Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia 2. Language of Division  Dividing love between husband and father ­ Regan and Goneril have husbands, but not Cordelia (1257)  Pre­Christian Britain vs. Shakespeare’s time ­ Traditional gods vs. God ­ Christian resonance in language a. France: admires humble, poor, and virtuous people  holy richness despite  poverty b. BUT potential pagan nature/moral issue (because the moral and virtuous  Cordelia dies)  Renaissance Lit. vs. Early Modern Lit. (1265) ­ Renaissance (Gloucester) ­ Early Modern (Edmund) a. Skeptical, dismissive of traditional predictors of character (such as astrology  and bastardization versus legitimacy) 3   King Lear     Social familial perception: Men have authority ­ Father = king = God (God is the father, father of the kingdom, kingdom of the  castle­ dad)  Wants the benefits of being a king without the power and burden ­ Divides the kingdom a. Social background: King James (of unity) for uniting kingdoms b. Literary background: Shakespeare’s language of division suggests a more  tragic plot 4. Cordelia  Criticism of sisters’ actions: their “glib of oily art” ­ Love does not necessarily mean telling someone what they want to hear (she cares for her father the most of all)


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