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- Written by William Shakespeare 1603-1605.
- These years marked the beginning of the Jacobean era.
- Era filled with worry and paranoia of the jacobean people
- main reason of paranoia is the change of power from Elizabeth to James I.
- Shift can be seen in Lear who changes physically, mentally and socially in his decline in power.
- Themes of madness, loss of power and motif of nothing helps cover main theme: change.
PG 1 points and context
- Presented in Act 1 Scene 1 as powerful.
- Staging- "King Lears Palace" "sennet bearing a coronet" shows his wealth and importance by mentioning properties.
- Furthermore, shown as important when he speaks through imperatives "tell me" "speak first" - commanding and powerful, possibly taking power too seriously.
- Most of his inputs into conversation are long monologues- dominating conversation and everyone around him.
- Divine right of kings- derived his power from the Gods, only gods could question him.
PG 2 points and context
- pathetic fallacy in act 3- representing change of Lear mentally and his abrupt mental decline.
- The storm is a metaphor for Lears loss of control after stupid mistakes and descent into madness.
- The fool acts as Lears conscious- suggesting how mad Lear has become, can't think for himself.
- Staging- environmental change around him. Begins in palace, ends in heath- showing loss of power and importance.
- Accompanied by attendants and sennet, ends with "none but the fool"- Everyone has turned their back on him now that he is out of power
- Physical change- "unbonneted he runs"- how vulnerable and powerless he has become.
- The storm is the punishment for Lear in his journey to become a tragic hero.
PG 3 points and context
- Could be seen as a tyrant in A1 S1 through idea of love test between daughters. Shows he is egotistical, thrives off flattery, fake or not.
- Eye motif highlighting his blindness to G and Rs fake speeches and C is is not in the wrong.
- Irrational and stubborn to create love test- ridiculous way to split a kingdom.
- "a third more opulent than your sisters"- biased towards one party.
- This unsettled audience because of recent appointment of James VI- england and scotland didn't get on, he trying to destroy england.
- Lear's personality could be his flaw, a trait needed for a tragic hero.
PG 4 points and context
- Emotional change- shows compassion and care for feelings of others. Finally has anagnorsis- asks fool "How dost my boy, art cold?""part of my heart thats sorry yet for thee"- first time Lear worries about others and sorry for others. Shows as result of losing power he lost tyrant personality, now compassionate.
- Chain of being- no longer able all other people.
- Anagnorsis- self aware trait of tragic hero.
PG 5 points and context
- His power being challenged by C and K, he is stubborn and misusing power. Banishing daughter shows he is irrational again.
- Becomes violent when challenged by K "laying his hand upon his sword"- lost control of argument and sees violence as a way to regain control.
- Reference to violence link to gunpowder plot to kill James VI, as a result of shifting power.
- Motif of nothing in conversation between a him and C foreshadows that Lear will end up with nothing. He banishes the 2 people who care most about him, relating to eye motif and how blind he is.
PG 6 points and context
- Still argumentative as he challenges storm. "singe my white head"- implying he is more powerful than the storm. Imperative 'singe'.
- Appears to not have changed, however admits to have sinned, claims he is more sinned against.
- Motif of nothing came true.
- Monosyllabic verbs 'blow' 'crack'- still demanding, no change?
- Could show how desperate he is to regain the power he once had.
- Storm represents Lears madness and loss of power, maybe even Lear himself and the damage he has inflicted to the kingdom through his actions.
- Storm could also represent the worry and paranoia people had that james VI disrupting laws of nature.
- Tragic hero needs to be punishment, Lear serves his in a3 s2.
- Lear changes physically, socially and most notably mentally after various mistakes. Personality, importance and position change simultaneously as does setting. Highlighting change.
- Play still applies today, likes of Trump and Jung Un in large positions of power. Both cause fear and unease for people all around the world.