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GCSE: King Lear

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  1. Discuss how Shakespeare illustrates the character of Lear changing during the play.

    This shows a disregard for the people of his kingdom, his only concern being for himself. "Which of you shall we say doth love us most? That we our largest bounty may extend" Instead of abdicating responsibility to the daughter whom he believes would use it well, he attempts to measure their verbal praise for him, a task I consider to be impossible. Perhaps he needs the praise for his self confidence, but I think he is simply showing off to the other nobles present.

    • Word count: 974
  2. Tis the infirmity of his age; yet he hath ever but slenderly known himself(TM) (Act 1.1 290-291) Discuss the portrayal of King Lear(TM)s character in the first act of King Lear.

    His decision to give away his kingdom to his daughters before his death while keeping the title of King shows that he values words and titles over power and authority. What makes this decision worse is his choice of dividing his kingdom: awarding the finest portion to the daughter that answers the question "which of you shall we say doth love us most?" the best. Lear disregards his older daughters' previous actions but accepts their hyperbole filled proclamations of love blindly, while taking offence for his youngest and favourite daughter's plain and truthful answer.

    • Word count: 611
  3. With detailed reference to the scenes in King Lear that you have studied so far, discuss the importance of the characters of Kent and the Fool in the play.

    Rather, Kent offers Lear advice, which more often than not, falls on deaf ears. In particular, Kent is the one that does his utmost to try and convince Lear to "reserve [thy] state" and "check this hideous rashness" when the King chooses to divide his kingdom between two of his daughters and banishing the youngest and only loyal one. Kent's efforts to save his master's kingdom are in vain, and he is banished for his troubles. This does not deter Kent, however, and he re-enters the castle disguised as Caius, a man of a lesser rank than Kent, and resumes his service to the King.

    • Word count: 710
  4. King Lear

    This would be seen as especially down-putting for a King in that era, which conveys the harshness and cruelty of the two daughters, to whom Lear gave everything. Lear states: "I gave you all." To which Regan smugly replies: "And in good time you gave it." Regan speaks so ungratefully of her fathers actions of granting her land, which clearly makes Lear realise how stupid and idiotic he has been.

    • Word count: 498
  5. king lear plot summary

    Edmund (the loved but illegitimate son of the Earl of Gloucester) plans to ruin the reputation of his eldest brother Edgar, by tricking his father into believing Edgar is plotting to kill him. Kent is instructed to deliver letters to Gloucester on Lear's behalf. Act II - Conflict begins between the two daughters Goneril and Regan. Regan learns from her father of the disrespect and hurt he suffered at the hands of Goneril's. Yet after consultation with her sister, allows her father to stay without his men, resulting in his staying with neither.

    • Word count: 644
  6. Fool's language tricks

    When the Fool feels that Lear's patience is running out he masks his comments with his characteristic manner. He immediately changes the form of his speech and finds the way to escape the whipping. He stops himself from another biting remark and in response to Lear's warning he provides less acute answer. More to the point, in dangerous situations " the truth he tells is disguised". A good illustration being when he disguises the meaning of his answer in something that sounds like a metaphor: FOOL: " Truth's a dog must to kennel, he must be whippe'd out, when the Lady Brach may stand by th' fire and stink.''

    • Word count: 768
  7. The idea of having a woman meaning a Queen ruling a country was quite rare but at that time Elizabeth was Queen. This idea is used in the story when Shakespeare presents King Lear having three daughters who are all supposed to be given shares of the kingd

    As I mentioned before, the idea of a woman ruling was rare so people may find that they are incapable an unworthy of doing such a job. At that time a stereotypical woman would sit at home, cook, clean, care for the kids and was very innocent and harmless. Shakespeare did not believe this and this opinion of his deeply influenced the story.

    • Word count: 453
  8. king lear is it a tragedy

    But Lear does inspire fear because, like us, he is not completely upright, nor is he completely wicked. He is foolish and arrogant, it is true, but later he is also humble and compassionate. He is wrathful, but at times, patient. Because of his good qualities, we experience pity for him and feel that he does not deserve the severity of his punishment. His actions are not occasioned by any corruption or depravity in him, but by an error in judgment, which, however, does arise from a defect of character.

    • Word count: 879
  9. In the play King Lear by Shakespeare, the destruction of social, natural, personal, familial and divine old order is a main part of the play

    Due to her speech, Lear disowns her and splits up her share of the kingdom between her two sisters. His reason for doing so was because he saw her reply as to how much she loves him as an insult to him and his pride. This rage and spiteful action against Cordelia, shows the destruction of family old order. By Lear denying Cordelia of what is rightfully hers, he has pitted her against her two sisters because they have received her share of the kingdom. The two other daughters of Lear, Goneril and Regan, paid "lip service" to him when he was in charge of the kingdom; yet when they got their turn, they showed him nothing but disrespect and hatred.

    • Word count: 935
  10. In the beginning, King Lear, a powerful king who has everything including health, wealth and loyalty. King Lear decides to share his status (money, kingdom) between his three daughters: Regan, Goneril

    The answer came out to be not the answer Lear was aiming for. In the film 'King Lear' King Lear put his hand to his ears and gave Cordelia one more chance and asked her once again (King Lear loves his youngest daughter so much that he didn't expect to hear such thing, he thought he was hearing things) Cordelia replied one more time with the wrong answer, Lear gets very angry and banishes Cordelia. King Lear's most loyal warrior, Kent, sticks up for Cordelia since Kent thinks that what Lear was doing is wrong, this made Lear furious indeed and also banishes Kent.

    • Word count: 732
  11. King Lear - Good vs Evil

    Since he believes that Edgar gave everything to evil Lear must believe that people are the cause of evil. It were Lear's daughters who decided to do wrong to Lear and it was Lear's fault in giving away all of his land. Si ughters are the humans in the play, it is the humans who caused the evil and Lear believes that humans were the ones who created evil. Edgar is another character in the play who believes that evil is caused by humans and not the gods.

    • Word count: 795
  12. Tom Jones is a great novel of English Literature

    He found this infant in the sheets of his bed one night as he prepared to sleep. This is of course Tom Jones. As a growing kid, Tom gets himself in trouble all the time with the unwelcome help of Master Blifil (Allworthy's sister's son with evil, greedy Captain Blifil). Tom is a child of great heart and passion. However, anything Tom ever does seems wrong and punishable because Blifil and his two professors, who also hate Tom are always on the lookout for his vulnerable actions. Tom is best friends with Sophia Western, the blonde, lovely daughter of the next-door neighbors.

    • Word count: 712
  13. How does Shakespeare portray Lear's character?

    This shows Lear pleading with his daughters to let him keep his knights, saying that even beggars have more than they need, so why may a king not have more knights than he needs? This causes a varied reaction in the audience, primarily the audience may feel for the sisters view, agreeing that Lear need not this may knights, not only following him and there for his protection, but claiming space in each of the daughters households whenever the king stays.

    • Word count: 608
  14. King Lear: a tragedy caused by arrogance, rash decisions and poor judgement of character.

    The king ignores the Earl of Kent who tries to defend Cordelia and banishes him for daring to speak out. Without hesitation he cuts off one of his most loyal people without considering the consequences. This act weakens him but he is so arrogant that he won't listen to criticism: everyone is wrong who disagrees with him. Shakespeare shows a king here who cannot judge a situation rationally or with a view to future implications. The king prefers the over the top flattery of his eldest daughters, though their words, as any audience would detect, are false and scheming.

    • Word count: 721
  15. "I am more sinned against than sinner". Discuss

    He also is able to accept the fool's truthful but painful remarks about how foolish he has been; we can compare this with his earlier prejudice in act 1 scene 1 when similar statements from Kent and Cordelia lead to their banishments. Of Lear's character arrogance and vanity are his fatal flaws that pave the way for his downfall from grace. Even before his opening scene we hear the words of his subjects, "I thought the king had more affected the Duke of Albany than Cornwall."

    • Word count: 895
  16. Compare the presentation of madness in Beloved and Wide Sargasso Sea. To what extent are the novels central protagonists affected by external forces?

    one of two children with a single Creole mother, from all historical and social contexts we are able to understand that her being a mixed race (half Creole, half English) would be a difficult society to grow up in. This is because she has no identity; she has nothing to connect to. She has no History to be proud of she is torn between two different cultures yet she manages to find nature and use this as a replacement for both of these voids.

    • Word count: 602
  17. King Lear essay.

    By using Cordelia I feel Shakespeare successfully portrayed Lear to the audience as foolish and shallow. During Lear's entrance Shakespeare was also working up to the true portrayal of 2 other characters which we later grow to dislike, Goneril and Regan. Goneril and Regan are the two daughters who did play Lear's game. They both used very grand and persuasive language to show their love towards their father. Goneril demonstrates this when she says, "Sir, I love you more than words can wield the matter" and "A love that makes breath poor and speech unable Beyond all manner" I feel

    • Word count: 888
  18. Role of the Fool in King Lear.

    King Lear begins the play by making the single, most foolish mistake of dividing his kingdom and giving power to the wrong hands. The king's unwise decision of division based on the daughter who professes the most love for him causes the downfall of the play and starts his slippery slope towards madness. His actions are understood by all except himself as he asks the question, "Who is it that can tell me who I am?" (I, IV, 226) and is given the reply, "Lear's shadow."

    • Word count: 923
  19. Shakespeare sees madness not as a terminal illness, but as a possible phase in a person's development - Discuss with reference to King Lear.

    Stupidity is the cause of Lear's madness, and eventually, his ultimate downfall. "Be Kent unmannerly when Lear is mad. What wouldst thou do, old man? " (Act 1, Scene 1). In Act 4, Scene 1 Lear asks the fool if he is a fool: "Dost thou call me fool, boy?" The Fool: "All thy other titles thou hast given away; that thou wast born with." Here the Fool is trying to say that he gave away all his power, and now the only title he has left now is being a fool.

    • Word count: 576
  20. By the end of the first two acts how far do you agree with King Lear’s statement that he is “a man more sinned against that sinning”.

    LEAR: Which of you shall we say doth love most, That we our largest bounty may extend. Gonerill and Regan both expose their manipulative and devious characters and falsely exaggerate and elaborate in their speeches to King Lear. Cordelia refuses to engage in the love-test and consequently faces the angry wrath of her father, and when Kent also intervenes, the pair are subsequently banished from the Kingdom by Lear himself. LEAR: If on the tenth day following, Thy banished trunk be found in our dominions.

    • Word count: 921
  21. How do the events of Act 1 Scene 1 of ‘King Lear’ prepare the audience for what happens in the rest of the play?

    This causes dramatic consequences because Lear fails to realise the truth and banishes her. Cordelia knew this might happen but is too stubborn to lie. Burgundy no longer wants to marry her because she will not bring any extra wealth or land. France however, sees her for what she is and is prepared to forego future wealth. Kent tries to explain to Lear what is going on but with little effect and he too is banished. Regan and Goneril discuss the situation privately and a sense of rivalry looms.

    • Word count: 665
  22. King Lear: Plot

    Gloucester is enraged, but Edmund calms him down. Edmund, pretends to help Edgar, by telling him that he is in trouble with his Gloucester and tells him to hide. Kent arrives, disguised as a servant, and offers his services to Lear, Lear accepts but as a result of the servants' and Goneril's lack of respect for him, he storms out of her house. He then goes to Regan's house. While leaving, the fool again criticizes Lear for giving his lands to his daughters. Lear is worried he is going mad.

    • Word count: 863
  23. Explore the Relationship between Lear and Cordelia with Particular Reference to Act one Scene one; and how it Affects to the Rest of the Play.

    Lear goes on to say that although he loves both of his son-in-laws he has decided to divide the Kingdom up between his three daughters. "To shake all cares and business from our age, Conferring them on younger strengths while we Unburdened crawl toward death. Our son of Cornwall, And you, our no less loving son Albany, We have this hour a constant will to publish Our daughters' several dowers that future strife May be prevented now." Lear has decided to divide his Kingdom between his three daughters to save future troubles.

    • Word count: 614
  24. Lear’s journey towards madness

    (I, iv, 114-115). Ironically Lear implements this first advice only in the last stage of the play when he and Cordelia are being led away to prison. Here Lear is modest and quiet. He realizes that he is not a king anymore and accepts his destiny when he says to Cordelia "Come, let's away to prison/... so we'll live/ And pray and sing... In a walled prison" (V, iii, 8, 11-12, 18). Another lesson that the Fool teaches the king is presented in the Fool's general behavior and actions.

    • Word count: 956
  25. King Lear- Significant lines

    the letter Edmund hides ? Significant because what Gloucester sees is a lie I would unstate myself to be in a due resolution Said by Gloucester to Edmund after he read the fake letter ? Significant because only when he does lose everything does he learn the truth And the noble and true-hearted Kent Banished! Said by Gloucester to Edmund after he read the fake letter discussing the stars ? Significant because it shows the reverse of natural order Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit; all with me?s meet that I can fashion fit Said by Edmund to himself after he gives Gloucester the letter and gains Edgars trust.

    • Word count: 604

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • 'I am a man more sinned against than sinning to what extent do you agree with Lear's statement above? Discuss Lear's role in the play and explore his journey from tyrant to humanity to death.

    "So in conclusion I may say that although he may have had nothing but good intentions, his foolishness and blindness brought all the humility and hardship down upon himself. Interpretation on whether Lear learnt his lesson is mainly up to the reader and in my eyes, Lear learnt his lesson, the hard way and even though he may be portrayed as the villain who banished Cordelia the real villains are his 2 daughters [Regan and Goneril] who started the 'ball' of lies, pain, hardship rolling. Answering the question yes I do believe that Lear is a 'Man more sinned against than sinning.' Because Lear suffers throughout the play from humility and this in turn makes us feel sorrier for a man who was once one of the most respected and powerful figureheads in Britain and gradually has all respect, authority and sanity stripped from him. Lear loses everything. His kingdom, his Fool, his three daughters and his own life. ' Come not between the dragon and his wrath.' Unfortunately, the wrath was too strong for even the dragon himself."

  • Discuss how Shakespeare illustrates the character of Lear changing during the play.

    "Conclusion At the start of the play Lear is very self-centered and oblivious to the lies he is facing. He then realises the truth, becomes mad due to his actions but also develops a sense of caring for others. Unfortunately the death of Cordelia makes him mad with grief and he is unable to care about anything else. This could be considered similar to the beginning of the play, however I think it is very different, because Lear is no longer 'blind' (at least not as much) and has a reason for his behaviour. I believe the character of Lear provides a strong moral: those who are self-centered and easily blinded by others will have a unhappy ending - perhaps a tragic one. Unfortunately those who might benefit from this moral are unlikely to realise it applies to them. by Greg Auger"

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