Kin0..0.g Lear notes:
· Tragedy is unrealistic and an imitation of an imitation.
· Falsifies the truth.
· Excites the thoughts, dangers and passion that endanger the state.
· Unity of time, place and action.
· Themes: Political and family
· Tragedy and history are fused together.
· Tragedy is morally, psychologically and theologically sound.
· Themes: Justice and Loyalty- Trust in the Genre
Medieval tragedy stemmed from Chaucer.
Looked at modern notions of accidents
Image of vulnerability.
Tragedy is more of a narrative than a play.
Mack: Tragedy and Madness:
· Madness is an insight into freedom to speak the truth
· Madness is a form of divine punishment.
· Themes: Fate/God
· Shakespeare’s tragic heroes often suffer from madness.
· Madness in King Lear is earthly and natural.
· Madness is dramatically useful.
· Madness is verbally assigned by the author
Nuttal: Pleasure of Tragedy:
· The audience are inwardly driven to delight.
· Cruel and sadistic pleasure- Tragedy
· Oikeiahedon: “proper pleasure of tragedy”- Achieved through dramatic irony, hamartia, bitter sweet, inwardly driven by pain.
· Inescapable trajectory
· Theme of justice
· Believed that in Shakespeare tragedy, the truth is more intense.
· Theme of politics
· Conflict between old religion and new politics.
· The heath becomes a symbol of lust
· Dover cliffs-attempted suicide-theme of violence
· Violence is inflicted by Goneril-interesting that she is female.
· Subverts belief in divine providence.
· Lear loses everything to gain his soul.
· Gloucester’s blinding-spiritual blinding
· Ironic that evil is set in motion by Lear himself. Goneril and Regan are cruel predators.
· Cordelia- “sing like birds in a cage”: Passive and tamed creature
· Albany sees Goneril and Regan as monsters
· Image of Lear as ‘hedge sparrow’- form of justice.
· Poetic and social justice: Oswald’s death
· Edmund’s death: form of justice
· Lear’s mock trial of Goneril and Regan
· Cordelia’s death: biggest injustice
· Qualities of devotion, kindness and honesty.
· Reunion with Lear is a restoration of order
· Love and forgiveness over hatred and spite.
· Fleeting moments of happiness makes the finale devastating
· Cordelia becomes a literal sacrifice to the heartlessness of an unjust world.
· CRITIC: TRAUB: “Feisty Cordelia morphed into sexist norms”
· “Subservient and forgiving of the father that rejected her”
· THEMES: LOYALTY/JUSTICE/FAMILY/TRUTH
Gloucester, Edmund and Edgar:
· Gloucester is a noble man loyal to Lear.
· Gloucester’s fate is parallel with Lear’s
· Gloucester exhibits the flaw of quick judgement
· Edmund: Edmund’s soliloquy encourages us to see him as a persuasive and seductive man.
· Edmund: Faces the rejection of family love.
· Edmund: Linked with the theme of corruption, he conceives the plan and then miscarries it.