Critic Quotes: Shakespearean Tragedy and King Lear

O’Toole – structure “the whole point of the play’s structure” is “the overwhelming sense of injustice”
O’Toole – morality “there is no simple sense of morality”
O’Toole – loyalty “the traditional morality of loyalty… is no longer of much use”
Kastan – tragedy “the genre of uncompensated suffering”
Nutall – pleasure “the pleasure of tragedy” – “the gloating, envious spectator”
Bradley – blindness “man is blind and helpless, the plaything of an inscrutable power”
Mack -madness “madness is to some degree a punishment or doom”
Mack – truth (the madman has) “intuitive unformulated awareness”
Kermode – language “wild linguistic excursions”
Rutter – women Goneril and Regan “begin the reactive process to lear’s effeminization”
Pechter – blinding “Gloucester’s blinding is the climactic, definitive example of the play’s power to make us suffer.”
Kott “The fool knows that the only true madness is to regard this world as rational”
Foakes “Insights” “vividly exposes human folly, greed and corruption”
Danby “Embodying a ruthless, greedy, self-seeking capitalism” (Edmund, Goneril and Regan)
Rutter 2 “The maternal is reviled”
Shapiro 1 “King Lear wrestles with what Britishness means”
Samuel Johnson “A play in which the wicked prosper, and the virtuous miscarry”
Shapiro 2 “Darkest tragedy that Shakespeare ever wrote”
Orwell 1 The Fool’s ramblings “are like a trickle of sanity running through the play”
Kott “The theme of King Lear is the decay and fall of the world”
Orwell 2 “the fool is integral to the play”

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