This is a paper that focuses on the King Lear article analysis on feminism or madness. The paper contains a brief scenario of a case that is relating to the topic..
The King Lear article analysis on feminism or madness
Essay 4—King Lear
For this paper, you are required to quote from at least two outside sources, at least one scholarly text (more are encouraged) about King Lear in your essay. You can use any texts you want, but they must be from legitimate sources—the article or book must either be written by someone with an academic position (professor of English, for instance), and/or the article must be published in an academic journal. In other words, Wikipedia or www.gradesaver.com do not cut it since that information is by definition common knowledge or meant for cheating.
I suggest reading a few journal articles to see what the experts have said about King Lear, and then choose a topic that appeals to you based on these sources. Or you can search academic databases for keywords that interest you, such as “King Lear” and “feminism” or “madness” or “filial piety.” Read the articles you find, and then create your own topic from your reading. Your other source(s) can be from newspapers, magazines, and credible websites and might be about the play or background information on topics that help explain a particular theme.
The following are some suggestions of themes or topics to investigate. Remember, they are guideposts that you can change as you see fit.
Just about every character in the play undergoes a profound change or series of changes, directly or indirectly, as a result of Lear dividing his kingdom. Closely chart one character’s transformation—describe his/her important qualities when the play started, what events or ideas caused the change, and the extent of the change. Did the character learn from the change or did it destroy him/her or both? What is Shakespeare saying about human nature with this character and/or the impact of the Lear’s division?
Lear has three daughters; Gloucester has two sons. Explore each character as a father, and what Shakespeare might be implying about parent-child relationships and obligations in general. You also might look at how their offspring treat them. Form a theory about family relations (and/or filial piety) as they work (and don’t work) in the play.
Edmund, a bastard, believes that tradition and rules do not apply to him. How does this worldview affect his actions and his fate? What does Shakespeare seem to be saying about this new sort of self-made man (similar to the American entrepreneur)? Does anyone else in the play attempt to transform his situation in a similar way? Whose worldview seems to oppose his?
Form a theory about how Shakespeare treats insanity in the play. You can look closely at Lear’s mental state—did he truly lose his mind? If so, when? Did he regain it? Or did he have it to begin with? What might Shakespeare be saying about the cause of madness, and the effects it causes in the world? You can also look at the other characters who pretend to be insane. What use might acting like a “Bedlam beggar” (insane homeless person) or a fool have in the world Shakespeare describes?
Respond to this claim: “Lear brought on all of his problems and therefore deserves no pity.”. You may want to look at what he learned or did not learn along the way.
Apply the following observation to character(s) in the play: “people don’t see those who are causing them pain when they are standing right in from of them.”. You may want to track references to seeing, eyes, and blindness throughout the play.