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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. Compare and contrast Lear and Macbeth's effectiveness as Kings.

    We elect people who are charismatic, decisive, open minded and trustworthy. In this essay I will look at the qualities expected of a 17th century monarch and King Lear and Macbeth's effectiveness as Kings. King Lear is the ageing king of Britain who has always enjoyed absolute power and who does not respond well to being challenged or contradicted. Macbeth is a nobleman, war hero and Thane of Glamis. He is well respected and loyal to King Duncan. In the 17th century it was important that a monarch loved and served God as they were his anointed representative.

    • Word count: 2137
  3. Adaptations of Ling Lear

    An example of this can be seen in Act 1, Scene 1, in which Lear says to Cordelia that she could have "a third more opulent than [her] sisters", then says to Burgundy about Cordelia "When she was dear to us, we did hold her so, but now her price has fallen." The way that Lear uses words like "price" and "third" suggests that he has a rather childish habit of equating love with material possessions. Lear's immaturity is further emphasised through lines 116-117- "I loved her most, and thought to set my rest on her kind nursery."

    • Word count: 1145
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. King lear

    Shakespeare uses Goneril and Regan to patronise Lear and get their share of the kingdom, however Cordelia is honest. " I love your majesty according to my bond, no more nor less." This is jukes opposite between the actions of the character Lear daughters, this shows that Cordelia respects her father but doesn't want to feed his ego unlike her sisters. She feels it is a duty that she owes to Lear. In this scene Cordelia disrupts the state of affairs by not playing the game like her sisters but her honest is put forward instead.

    • Word count: 2820
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. Self discovery in King Lear

    With this knowledge, he encounters a metamorphosis of person. In the beginning, King Lear's vanity, and the image and exercise of power dominate his person. But a series of losses (based on his own bad decisions), and the death of the one who truly loved him, clear his vision and allow him to see himself and the world as they truly are. The pain and suffering endured by Lear eventually tears down his strength and sanity. In the first few scenes of the play, King Lear portrays his need for praise by choosing to divide his kingdom amongst his daughters.

    • Word count: 1594
  11. Analysing the Introduction of King Lear's Character in Act 1of 'King Lear'

    Already the reader can observe his attitude of no obligation to his country or anyone after he shifts power. Furthermore, Lear's sermon makes explicit his shallow countenance. He demonstrates materialism as he requests: Which of you...love us most...our largest bounty may extend He desires his daughters to display to him their love, as it will grant them a higher share. This portrays Lear's rash and insecure mentality. It establishes to the reader how he revels in sycophantic behaviour whether it be accurate or deceitful, as he is none the wiser since he appears encompassed in a personal ego promotion.

    • Word count: 1223
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. King Lear an essay about Shakespeare's presentation of women in "King Lear".

    So far we can see that Shakespeare has presented Regan as a jealous woman. The next daughter to declare her undying love for Lear is Cordelia but she surprises us and Lear, "nothing my Lord." Lear is shocked that his favourite daughter doesn't want to flatter him with words. So now we have seen a different side to the third daughter. Shakespeare has portrayed Cordelia as Lear's favourite, but also as the most only truthful woman in the whole play.

    • Word count: 1029
  15. 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
  16. Act 1 scene 1 acts as Shakespeare's basic brief for most of the main characters and sets the scene for the rest of the play. For instance to begin Shakespeare has made the first line of text one of the most important

    At this point in the play we do not know of his decision to split his kingdom between his daughters however we do know that he has made an odd decision not to split it between the dukes. The Kings' motives already are being questioned here in the text by the audience. The characters obviously believe that this is a strange decision made by the King to not spilt his Kingdom up between the Dukes which consequently leads us also to believe the same thing and we begin to closer note of the Kings actions throughout the play.

    • Word count: 1583
  17. 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
  18. How far does Coriolanus succeed in and surpass hisDestiny shaped by his mother?

    She promotes Coriolanus' mad courage, by which I mean risking anything to fulfil his plan. An example is him pursuing the Volsces into their own walls when the Romans were too cowardly to follow him. They only looted from the enemy rather than defeating them. For this victory he is honoured by Rome as a great hero and soldier. O noble fellow! If there is to be a blot on Coriolanus' reputation it is his contempt of the Plebeians. Who deserves greatness deserves your hate. This is what gives Brutus and Sicinius, two tribunes of the people, their opportunity to manipulate the sheepishness of the Plebeians and to remove Coriolanus from power as consul.

    • Word count: 1067
  19. What changes do you notice in the presentation of Lear in act 3 scene 4?

    in a way lear feels that he has lost his sense of identity however throughout this scene lear comes to realise that perhaps loosing his identity as king is helping him to find his identity as lear the man. Lear is also increasingly feeling guilty about his mistreatment of Cordelia "I did her wrong(1.5)" and this too could be contributing to his madness. Arguably, one of the main factors for Lear's madness is the rejection and increasing cruelty from his daughters Regan and Goneril.

    • Word count: 1796
  20. I am a man more sinned against than sinning King Lear was written by William Shakespeare and is about the tragic story of a royal family in the dark ages,

    The children go in age order from oldest to youngest starting with Gonerill telling her love: "Sir I love you more than word can wield matter, Dearer than eyesight, space and liberty Beyond what can be valued rich or are No less than life, with grace, health beauty and honour;" Following Gonerill is the second eldest daughter Regan proclaiming: "Myself an enemy to all other joys Which the most precious square of sense possesses, And find I am alone felicitate In your dear highness love."

    • Word count: 4071
  21. 'Lear is more sinned against than sinning'

    Therefore, it can be argued that the sins Lear has committed are all linked to his infuriated temper and that he is indeed more sinning than sinned against. However, it can also be interpreted that Lear actually has not committed any offences, and that his behaviour only reflects his fatal flaw; his inability to recognise his faults and 'see' metaphorically. As Lear is unaware of the effects of his rational behaviour, he is ignorant to his misdeeds against the people he is meant to care for, and, for that reason, believes he has not committed any sins.

    • Word count: 1065
  22. A Brief Summary of King Lear - I, II, III, IV

    Lear is going to live with his eldest daughters, yet still keep the title "King." Secretly, Goneril and Regan conspire to not allow Lear to exert his title over anything. Meanwhile, the Earl of Gloucester suffers a similar lapse in judgement. He is easily deceived by his b*****d son, Edmund. Edmund draws up a phony letter that implicates the good son, Edgar, in a conspiracy to kill his father. Then, he "accidentally" allows Gloucester to see it. Edmund furthers his evil intentions by lying to Edgar, stating that Gloucester is angry, and advising him to run away.

    • Word count: 1378
  23. 'I am a man more sinned against than sinning' III.2.59-60 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 humility and death.

    In Act 1, Lear display's many traits designed to alienate and shock the audience. In fact, Lear is the first character the audience are encouraged to dislike. Rash and arrogant, Lear behaves like a tyrannical dictator rather than a responsible King and Father. As soon as the audience are introduced to Lear, he describes the absurd 'love test' he will carry out in order to divide up his kingdom. What should in essence be a difficult and serious task for the king is seemingly disregarded as Lear adopts a method more suitable for flattering his own ego than judging who can best govern the state.

    • Word count: 3971
  24. It can be argued that the central concern of King Lear is the nature of a particular form of evil: anger. Aristotle defined anger as: ... an impulse

    Furthermore, Aristotle pointed out that the slight is most keenly felt if that aspect in which we think ourselves most worthy of consideration is treated slightingly. Anyone who shows, in speech or action, a tendency to slight rather than praise these qualities upon which we base our self-esteem, will be the recipient of our anger. However, we will be more angry with friends than with others, with those who have previously treated us deferentially and now change, and with those who do not adequately appreciate or return kindness.

    • Word count: 2299

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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