King Lear: Evyushe Version

what is lear’s tragic flaw (hamartia) his hubris (excessive pride)
what is the main theme of the play the true nature of nature (human relationships based on love)
who said “It’s not what becomes of us, but what we become.” Dr. Harrison
3 oxymorons madness is sanity and sanity is madness, sight is blindness and blindness is sight, success is failure and failure is success
what is shakespeare’s number 1 historical source The Chronicles of England by Raphael Holinshed
4 false natures lust, hierarchy, self interest, destruction
what year was the book probably written? 1605 or 1606
who said “Lear is a man intensely lovings, and intensely needing to be loved.” Charles Harrison
“Nothing will come of nothing” King Lear to Cordelia. Cordelia is unable to put her love for Lear into words, saying, “my love’s More ponderous than my tongue” (Act 1.1). (Which means, her love is too vast for her to possibly talk about it). SO, King Lear says, “Nothing will come of nothing” in response, meaning that as long as she says NOTHING to flatter him, she will receive NOTHING from him.
Who said “A long life of absolute power produced on him a blindness to human limitations of love.” A.C. Bradley
“See better Lear” Kent to Lear, sight is blindness oxymoron. Kent is loyal to Lear, and says this to Lear because he wants him to learn to see more clearly in a figurative sense. He also follows with “and let me still remain the true blank of thine eye,” which means ” let me stay here where you can always look to me for good advice.”
“Thou, Nature, art my goddess” Edmund reading a letter in a monologue. This quote literally translates to: “You, nature, are my goddess,” which means that Edmund only worships what is natural, not manmade.
“These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to us. Though the wisdom of nature can reason it thus…” Gloucester to Edmund (relates to time book was written with weird solar eclipses) This means “that these recent eclipses of the sun and moon don’t bode well for us…though science can explain them away”. May represent that a great chain is under assault bc lear (the top link, the king,) removed himself from the chain.
“This excellent foppery of the world, that when we are sick in fortune… to lay his goatish disposition on the charge of a star… I should have been that I am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing, Edgar-“ Edmund in a soliloquy, fate vs free will. PART ONE: This is a classic example of the idiocy of the world: when we’re down and out—often because of our own excesses —we put all the blame on the sun, the moon, and the stars, as if they forced us to be bad. PART TWO: men blame their mistakes on the stars! PART THREE: I would have been what I am (just as evil) even if the most holy star had twinkled at my conception
“No, sir, but you have that in your countenance which I would fain call master” Kent to Lear while in disguise: Tells him that there is something about his face that makes kent want to serve him. Appearance vs reality, Kent’s loyalty to Lear, true nature of nature, Kent was banished in the beginning of the play, risking his life by talking to him
“Thou hadst little wit in thy bald crown when thou gav’st thy golden one away” The Fool to Lear, means: ” If I’m telling the truth like a fool in saying all this, whip the first person who thinks I sound foolish.” Quadruple entendre(!) crown= top of head, british money, coronet(actual crown worn on head), egg shell; double entendre golden one= Cordelia, and his throne/crown/rule of kingdom, Fool is teaching
“Lear’s shadow” Fool to Lear. Two meanings. 1) Fool speaking the truth, Lear is a shadow of what he used to be, OR 2) the Fool is Lear’s shadow, True Nat of Nat, ultimacy and beauty of love theme: The fool is thought of as Lear’s shadow (he follows or shadows Lear around the countryside) and is thus the person who can tell Lear who he is.
“I heard myself proclaimed… Brought near to the beast; my face I’ll grime with filth, Blanket my loins, elf all my hair in knots…” Edgar in a soliloquy, making his disguise of Tom of Bedlam, appearance vs reality, sanity is madness oxymoron, clothing motif(good people wear bad clothes) MEANING: “I heard myself declared an outlaw…I’ve decided to disguise myself as the lowliest and rattiest beggar that mankind has ever seen. I’ll smear my face with filth, put on a loincloth, make my hair matted and tangled.”
“Let go thy hold when a great wheel runs down a hill, lest it break thy neck with following. But the great one that goes upward, let him draw thee after.” Fool to disguised Kent, holding onto spiraling wheel. MEANING: When you see a huge wheel rolling down a hill, you shouldn’t try to hold on to it or it’ll break your neck. But if you see a wheel going uphill, latch on for the ride.”
“You see me here, you gods, a poor old man… I will have such revenges on you both!… You think I’ll weep. No, I’ll not weep (storm enters) O Fool, I shall go mad!” Lear talking to Regan and many others. MEANING: “You see me here, gods, a grieving old man, as wretched in his grief as he is in his old age….I’ll get revenge on you both!….You expect me to cry? Well, I won’t! Oh, Fool, I’ll go mad!” A storm entering represents Lear’s madness coming in, madness is sanity oxymoron, foreshadows his insanity, great chain of being is under attack, true nature of nature
“None but the Fool, who labors to outlets his heart-struck injuries.” A Gentleman to Kent, telling that no one but the Fool is with Lear: “Nobody but the fool is with Lear, and the Fool’s trying to soothe the wounds in the king’s heart with jokes.” Shows how the Fool is loyal to Lear, true nat of nat, ultimacy and beauty of love, Lear is having a dark night of the soul and a catharsis, fool is comforting
what becomes Lear’s castle when he goes mad? The hovel (success is failure oxymoron)
“Prithee go in thyself; seek thine own ease. This tempest will not give me leave to ponder on things would hurt me more, but I’ll go in. [to the fool] In, boy; go first.” Lear to Kent and then the Fool; they are entering the hovel and leaving the storm; MEANING: “Go inside yourself. Make yourself comfortable. This storm protects me from thoughts that would hurt me more. But I’ll go in.” Technical climax, lear thinks of others before himself for the first time, acting on love, not being selfish; from then on he acts only on love; sanity is madness oxymoron
“This cold night will turn us all to fools and madmen.” The Fool to Lear and disguised Edgar; foreshadows how everyone goes crazy; the fools and madmen are the best people in the play, ex. Lear, Kent, Edgar, Fool, Cordelia(?)
“Off off you lendings!!” Lear talking with the fool in the storm; MEANING: “Off with these clothes borrowed from animals! Let me unbutton this.” 2nd tech climax of play; ends the stripping of Lear; madness is sanity, and blindness is sight oxymorons; he is a man as other men are theme, thinks that he isn’t worthy of his own clothes
“And i’ll go to bed at noon” The Fool to Lear; euphemism for death; Noon= no shadow; symbolically OK for the Fool to die bc Lear has become the fool, he comforts and teaches, lear had
“‘Thou call’s on him that hates thee.’ ‘O my follies! Then Edgar was abused. Kind gods, forgive me that, and prosper him.'” Regan and Gloucester having a conversation; technical climax of the subplot; Gloucester has an epiphany, he realizes that edmund was the bad child not edgar; blindness is sight oxymoron
“I stumbled when I saw… Oh dear son Edgar!” Gloucester speaking to a disguised Edgar; Gloucester sight is blindness oxymoron; dramatic irony because gloucester has no eyes
“I am even the natural fool of fortune” King Lear to a Gentleman; role reversal with Fool (licensed fool vs natural fool), nature of nature, fate vs free will, wheel of fortune
“Do not laugh at me, for as I am a man, I think this lady to be my child cordelia” Lear talking to Cordelia; epiphany; his madness is gone; common humanity of man theme
Aristotle’s unities time, setting, action
What is Aristotle’s idea of a good story pity and terror lead to a catharsis
“I have a journey, sir, shortly to go; My master calls me, I must say no” Kent talking to Edgar: Once Lear has died, Kent wants to kill himself to join Lear in the afterlife where he can serve him forever. Euphemism; written in a heroic couplet because they are like a couple; True nature of nature; ultimacy and beauty of love
What is catharsis? Purging or cleansing of the emotions as a result of watching a tragedy
What is pathos, an essential story element according to Aristotle? The creation of feelings of pity, sorrow, sympathy in a play
Peripeteia Sudden reversal in a plot
“Which of you shall we say doth love us most’ That we our largest bounty may extend” King Lear speaking to Cordelia, Regan, GonerilSig:He is telling his daughters that the one who can say they love him the most, will get the most land
“Since that respect and fortunes are his love, I shall not be his wife” Cordelia speaking to King of France Sig: Cordelia tells the King of France that since he loves money and power so much, she wont marry him
Describe the restoration of Lear’s sanity. His mind is restored through the medium of quiet, rest, sleep, kindness, and Cordelia.
How does Albany learn of the treachery of his wife and Edmund? By means of the letter which Edgar gives him
Do you find any difference in character between Regan and Goneril? Goneril seems to be more resourceful in wickedness; she plans and proposes while Regan only seconds the propositions of her sister. Regan is afraid of Goneril; Goneril is afraid of no one. Goneril offers herself to Edmund while her husband is still alive; Regan makes no advances to Edmund until after her husband’s death. Goneril agrees to the murder of Cordelia, poisons Regan, and attempts to kill her husband. She seems more wicked than Regan.
Describe the Dover Cliff incident. Gloucester determines to commit suicide by throwing himself over the Dover Cliff. He meets Edgar and not recognizing his son, asks him to lead the way to the Cliff. Edgar divines his father’s intention and leads him across a field, but pretends they are climbing a steep hill. They finally stop and Edgar tells his father they are within a foot of the edge of a great precipice. Gloucester gives Edgar money and tells him to go away; he then throws himself forward. Edgar, who has thought of this deceit to cure his father of his wish to die, now comes forward as another person who had seen the fall. Gloucester is persuaded that he did fall. Since he was not killed he decides to live and bear his affliction.
What is the dramatic effect of the meeting of Gloucester and Edgar? It adds pathos and increases the interest and sympathy in the action.
Is Edgar really mad? If not, how do you account for his actions and words? No. He feigns madness to preserve his life.
Does Lear have a right to think himself ungratefully treated? He has given wealth, position, and power to his daughters. But since the gifts furnish entertainment for himself he should not have expected a display of gratitude from those who received the gifts.
What true friends has he, and how do they show their friendship? By remaining by his side.
How would you describe the character of Kent? Kent possesses all the fine traits which make a man noble. Self-sacrifice, loyalty, faithfulness and goodness are developed to a high degree in his character.
How are we to account for Cordelia’s love for Lear? Her love was deep, honest, real. Such love does not parade itself. A fine nature never makes a show of itself.
Is Lear’s demand of an expression of love from each daughter likely to bring honest answers? No, because the answers must be given publicly they are not likely to be honest.
How has the kingdom prospered under Albany and Cornwall? It has not prospered. Albany and Cornwall are quarreling; a French army is about to invade this “scattered kingdom.”
What is the dramatic effect of the storm? It increases the sympathy for Lear.

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