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University Degree: King Lear

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  1. In the play King Lear I agree that the play presents us with a bleak and cruel world

    One of these is Edmunds revenge scheme of him punishing his father and brother of living the life that he should of. Another is the plan by Regan and Goneril of ruling the land and killing their father and out casting their sister Cordelia in the process but ended up killing each other as well in the play something of which they did not foreseen.

    • Word count: 480
  2. In both plays love is insanity, taking over the rational and lucid mind by delusion and self-destruction, which can only be cured when the insane are stripped of what they love the most and honesty, not deceit, take precedence.

    So for them Athens and the people within it are insane. They feel they must flee the state into the forest away from Egeus and Theseus and the rest to be sane and free. In King Lear, Lear is insane at the beginning when his wealth and slaves surround him. However only until he has nothing left and he is out by himself, outside in the woods does he reach true enlightenment upon the situation. In both plays the characters are finally sane when they are out in the woods, away from everything that blinds them and makes/drives them insane.

    • Word count: 3010
  3. In Chapter VII pages 167-169 of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's The Leopard is the actual ruin of the novel's protagonist, Prince Don Fabrizio

    This proves to be paradoxical, as death, which is normally perceived negatively, would not usually be associated with a word that is conventionally positive (game). Other features that facilitate the clear morbidity of this passage is Tomasi di Lampedusa's subtle use of adjectives such as "funeral black" (24), "metallic sea" (29) and "dark water towards the abyss" (53) to describe the Prince's depressing perception of his surroundings, which also illustrate his current state of mind. "Funeral Black" not only serves as a simple description, but is also an example of the way the extract foreshows the ending of everything - the Prince, Donnafugata, the novel.

    • Word count: 1270
  4. Patriarchy or Matriarchy: Who Has the Real Power in Shakespeare's King Lear?

    So who has the real power: men who control the organization, or women who control mainstream, everyday life? In King Lear, through the representation of Cordelia, Regan, and Goneril, Shakespeare expresses that the females are the ones with the ultimate power and it is matriarchy that runs the world; gender roles seem to be reversed. All of the female characters in Shakespeare's King Lear are portrayed as extremely powerful individuals. They seem to take on the "male" characteristics of aggressiveness, ruthlessness and heartlessness and often show these characteristics more than any other male within the play. There is a grave contrast between the two older, Di Lorenzo 2 more violent sisters, Regan and Goneril, and the unselfish, truthful, favorite daughter, Cordelia, yet all three exhibit powerful characteristics, worthy of taking on high power roles.

    • Word count: 1361
  5. Review and interpretation of King Lear

    Over four-hundred years later Raphael Holinshed presented a more concise version of Geoffrey's version in The Second Book of the Historie of England, which offered little else to the story. Lear's madness may not have come from a literature source, but from the real life of Bryan Annesley. In 1603, Annesley was in his last years of his life when one of his three daughters tried to have him committed and to have his will contested. His youngest, Cordell (Cordelia), fought to have her father not deemed insane in an attempt to keep that off his permanent record.

    • Word count: 7186
  6. Tragedy and Silence in Beckett's Endgame and Bond's Lear

    To underline the point, Beckett introduces many moments of farcical action (which are much more apparent in a stage production than on the page). Clov's attempts to kill a flea by pouring insecticide powder down his trousers (p.108) are a particularly gleeful example. For Aristotle, this would be the lowest form of comedy. According to his definitions: 'Comedy aims at representing men as worse...than in actual life' (Cooper ed., 1997). Beckett emphatically does this: it is hard to imagine characters depicted in a worse state than Nagg and Nell, human waste confined to a dustbin.

    • Word count: 3421
  7. An essay on Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot.

    The two main characters Vladimir and Estragon are tortured within their imprisonment in the staticness and inaction of the play. The consciousness of such inaction (or the act of waiting) generates the madness that manifests itself and divides itself between crazy farcical clowning and quieter moments of philosophical lamenting. Development is nil in the play therefore it can be deduced that what the play consists of - waiting - is akin to human lives minus the 'plot'. Beckett has subtracted Vladimir and Estragon from the conventional world, from human activity and inflicted on them a challenge.

    • Word count: 1974
  8. An Interpretation of Molire A Critique of the Bourgeois Men

    This portrayal of Orgon displays the warped value system he possesses by describing his preference of the companionship of a stranger over the love of his own family. Gertrud Mander states in similar fashion that " His infatuation with Tartuffe-which initiates the bigotry which causes him to betray his family's interests-.... Orgon does not know what he is doing, for his will has been crippled by his madness" (91). I agree with this statement in that Orgon's passion for Tartuffe has crippled his will therefore leading to his betraying of his family, but I feel it is not so much

    • Word count: 2257
  9. King Lear: A Transformation of Self.

    The two eldest daughters, Regan and Goneril, speaking with self-serving exaggeration, give Lear exactly what he desires, reverence and adoration. However, Cordelia, his "most beloved daughter", refuses to comply with Lear's superficial desires. Aware that love extends deeper than artificial compliments, Cordelia confesses her "plain" love, characterized by modesty and honesty. "Then poor Cordelia!/ And not so, since I am sure my love's/ More ponderous than my tongue...Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave/ My heart into my mouth. I love your Majesty/ According to my bond, no more nor less" (I.i.79-81, 93-95).

    • Word count: 848
  10. Character is Destiny - The lives of both King Lear and Oedipus Rex revolve around the idea that character is destiny.

    Both Oedipus and Lear react with hostility whenever their pride is threatened. When Tiresias says that he killed Laius, Oedipus says "begone/back from these walls, and turn you home again"(16), Similarly, when Kent warns Lear that he has made the wrong decision about Cordelia, Lear says to go and "five days we do allot thee for provision"(I.i.172), Oedipus' pride drives him to seek out the truth, and expose what is right. On the other hand, Lear's pride drives him to maintain prominent stature. Oedipus' pride leads him to believe that he can solve all the problems of Thebes.

    • Word count: 974
  11. Drama review - I didn't have the opportunity to see Hannie Rayson's first play Life After George and I couldn't be more disappointed, especially after seeing her latest play Inheritance.

    Twin sisters Girlie Delaney and Dibs Hamilton are preparing to celebrate their 80th birthday. The families are all gathered at 'the farm', Allandale, which Dibs had inherited from her mother. As the story goes, Dibs and Girlie's grandfather Jessie Allan, whose daughter married a man by the name of Norm Myrtle, founded Allandale. They had twin daughter's Dibs and Girlie. Norm struggled with depression, he struggled with life until the day that he decided he couldn't go on anymore, and hung himself. His body was found, hanging, by his daughters. The sisters settled the inheritance of the farm with the toss of a coin, which saw Dibs taking the farm, while Girlie was paid off with 10,000 pound.

    • Word count: 868
  12. War is Peace: Perceptual and Societal Death and Rebirth in William Shakespeare's, "King Lear.

    In Act 1, Scene 1 Lear divides his kingdom among his two obedient daughters, Goneril and Regan. Cordelia, the honest daughter, is banished along with the Earl of Kent for attempting to stick up for her. This instance alone perfectly portrays one of the ways in which Lear views the world. Lear speaks of Cordelia, "...with those infirmities she owes,/ unfriended, new-adpoted to our hate, /dowered with our curse and strangered with our oath... (I.i, 231-234)." This shows that he thinks of her to be dishonest and uses adoption and dowry imagery to further outline her ostensible betrayal.

    • Word count: 3064
  13. Symbolism in A Long Day's Journey into Night

    This, of course, is no coincidence. One of the key human features explored in the play is deception, or keeping each other in the dark. Thus, one might suggest that the fog and darkness in the form of the night are congruent symbols reinforcing one another, because they come together and empower the same concept. The fog can also be seen as a sort of a "personal fog" each character is shrouded in, and something that suggest blurriness and unreality, especially in the final parts of the play when the fog is "denser than ever" and "makes everything sound so sad and lost" (Baym 1390-1391).

    • Word count: 907
  14. The Oriental Witch.

    Next, he must sow the soil with the teeth of the monster serpent slain by Cadmus. Finally, he must capture The Golden Fleece from the dragon that guards it. Knowing the completion of this task will be difficult, Medea defied her father and agreed to help him in exchange for Jason vowing to take her to Greece and marry her. Medea previously held the position of High Priestess to the god Hecate and knew quite well all aspects of magical arts.

    • Word count: 1830
  15. King Lear, by William Shakespeare.

    Gloucester and Lear, two honorable men, have children that return to them in their time of need. Similar to Lear, Gloucester is tormented by his evil child, however it is his favored child that tends and heals him even though Gloucester has wronged Edgar. Gloucester's sufferings are traceable to his extreme folly and injustice, and to a selfish pursuit of his pleasure. In the early beginning of King Lear, Cordelia tells her father of her love for him is the love between father and daughter, no more, no less: "Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave my heart into my mouth: I love your majesty according to my bond; nor more nor less."

    • Word count: 1099
  16. Based on your study of the first two Acts, how well does Shakespeare present us with characters we can dislike?

    Such techniques used within the first two acts ensure that the true nature and intentions of certain characters are obtained, by the way in which they are characterised and portrayed. Through the course of this essay, I will examine the various techniques present during the first two Acts in certain characters' dialogue, and the language they use generally and when placed in different situations, how their actions and decisions effect the audiences' interpretation of their character, the way in which they interact with other characters and how certain interactions will ultimately be perceived by a Shakespearian audience.

    • Word count: 7909
  17. Compare the opening of 'King Lear' to a Shakespeare play you have read before, focusing closely on the way Shakespeare introduces the main themes.

    In no other work of fiction - not even in Oedipus - is this total transformation from such magnificence to total despair rendered with such emotional intensity. That intensity is heightened by the fact that Lear's story is underscored throughout the play by the parallel experiences of the Duke of Gloucester. Othello is composed of an extraordinary mixture of antithetical states of feeling and being. The extremes are literally and emblematically represented in Desdemona and lago, but they are most deeply incarnated in Othello himself, who moves from one to the other, from the transcendence and love celebrated in the first half of the play to the nearly utter disintegration and destructiveness that are dramatized in the second half.

    • Word count: 2485
  18. Kingship and leadership and their absence have major implications in the play King Lear. Explore how Shakespeare presents these themes.

    It is the image of authority to which Kent appeals; Lear : Does thou know me fellow? Kent : No Sir, but you have that in your countenance which I would fain call master. Lear : What's that? Kent : Authority. It is noticeable here that Shakespeare's language is used in such a way which appeals to the image of kingship and authority. The last line which Kent speaks here is a one word line; 'Authority'. This shorter sentence is powerful and it emphasizes and demonstrates the them of kingship and authority in the play, especially in the first act.

    • Word count: 1931
  19. The search for Kim: Rudyard Kipling's Kim

    The Search for Kim is to help the Lama to find his river but also to find himself (Kim). We do not know much about Kim except that he was an orphan and that he was brought up in Lahore City. We know a bit about him; the fact that he has pride and is a bit mischievous at times. But we do not know the rest. We only know about the tip of the iceberg, but not the other section hidden beneath the water. Kim struggles with that fact and the Search for him is also about the Search for identity.

    • Word count: 1112
  20. What evidence is there in the play Lear that Bond was seeking to "disturb" and to what extent does he show us humanity as we "really are"?

    It distances the audience from the action through the use of humour but when you laugh you feel ashamed as it is at horrific and uncomfortable things. The play, Lear is typical of the 1960's genre and has short scenes, this also makes the spectator feel less comfortable as you don't have a chance to get settled because it keeps changing. We are first introduced to the v-effect in Act 1, Scene 1 on page 4 when Lear says, "Why are you waiting?

    • Word count: 1523
  21. To what extent are Lear's and Gloucester's troubles brought on by "the surfeits of their own behaviour"?

    marble hearted fiend, more hideous when thou show'st thee in a child, than in the sea-monster", "You unnatural hags, I shall have such revenges on you both." These metaphors help emphasise that though it could well be considered inhuman it is normal in most species from rabbits to salmon for the parents to decline in order for their children to take their place. It could be argued that the essential tragedy of the play is that Lear's innate stubbornness is what prevents this changeover of generations from taking place.

    • Word count: 2269
  22. How might different productions dramatise the struggle between chaos and order in King Lear?

    This immediately establishes the power of male dominance in a patriarchal society. In Modern Shakespeare Company's production, Lear enters the play with a bright golden crown on his head. The crown emphasises Lear's important status as well as accentuating the idea of male domination. The overpowering of male exemplifies sexual injustice and is consolidated through Lear's "love test". Through his "love test", the audience can see that Lear expects his daughters to perform the traditional role women perform for men, that is to express "which of you shall we say doth love us most".

    • Word count: 1662
  23. Kent's most notable characteristics are his loyalty and bluntness. Discuss?

    We normally hear Kent referring to the King in a respectful and loyal manner 'my lord' and 'my leige'. His bluntness and forwardness towards the King leads to his banishment, which Kent accepts but not without a final word of advice "See better Lear, and let me still remain the true blank of thine eye." - Act 1 Scene 1 We notice that his advice and speeches are justified by the subsequent events of the play. His reference towards the Kings daughters prior to leaving the court is a sign of what is still to come . "...the gods to their dear shelter take thee, maid, that justly think'st and hast most rightly said;(to Cordelia)

    • Word count: 814
  24. Do you think the main plot and sub plot run parallel in King Lear. Discuss?

    (Act 1 Scene 1) Lear fails to see his youngest daughter's honesty and banishes her from his Kingdom, stripping her of every title she had. Shakespeare introduces the theme of 'sight and blindness' with Lear's inability to see Cordelia's truthfulness and his blindness to the false-flattery of his other two evil daughters. Also introduced is the theme of 'Nothing' when Lear tells Cordelia; "How, nothing will come of nothing." (Act 1 Scene 1). The theme of 'Sight and Blindness' and 'Nothing' reappear throughout the play in many different contexts, but the irony lies in the fact that Lear depicts Shakespeare's

    • Word count: 826
  25. Examine the ways in which Shakespeare presents different ideas relating to the Elizabethan/ Jacobean world picture in King Lear.

    Another significant issue that Shakespeare uses in the play is that of the "Machiavellian alternative". This idea is portrayed primarily through the character of Edmund but also to a lesser extent through Lear's daughters Goneril and Regan who according to Lear "wicked". The Machiavellian characters in King Lear are all self centred, tyrannical and villainous. The relationship between the microcosm and the macrocosm is an underlying issue in the play, which is conveyed with the idea that as the storm rages out on the heath, so Lear's mental health decreases and there is metaphorically a storm in his head.

    • Word count: 2493

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?
  • "All friends shall Taste the Wages of their Virtues, and all Foes the Cup of their Deserving." Discuss the Theme of Justice in "King Lear"

    "King Lear is also concerned with social justice. Lear and Gloucester both consider this topic carefully and seem to reach radical conclusions. Gloucester calls upon the heavens to distribute wealth more evenly; while Lear considers the lives of "poor naked wretches" he paid so little attention to. In Act 4, Lear rages against corrupt members of the judiciary and seems to sneer at himself when he says "a dog's obeyed in office". At the end of the play we are presented with two new agents of justice, Albany, and Edgar. We accept the justice of their actions in Act 5 Scene 3. But human judgement still looks faulty. Albany has been overwhelmed by events and Edgar's bitter words about Gloucester's death seem callous. Surely nobody in King Lear is morally impeccable? Perhaps Shakespeare wants us to remain uncomfortable about justice."

  • "The power of tragic texts springs from our recognition that the protagonists are men and not gods; it is their humanity that we value" - Discuss using two works of literature you have studied.

    "In conclusion, the author of a tragedy must create a compelling character in goodness and sin. It must become a heroic struggle which imples both sides of the spectrum - a person's most condemnable side and most beautiful side. A tragic hero could neither be Hitler or D'Artagnan. They are filled with too much of one and the other. The hero must be someone the reader can identify with in reality, to accompany his struggle and find a better truth. 1"

  • What are Seneca's views on anger (support your answer with evidence from primary sources)? Critically evaluate his views.

    "In conclusion, Seneca has defined anger as the desire to avenge or punish a wrong done received by one. It is disaccord to nature and required the mind to make a decision to start. It is a process which contains several parts. Anger can bring plague and ruin to one's mind. The remedies he suggested are to avoid anger, postponement and fight with ourselves to restrict anger. There are consistence between his views and stoicism. However, the remedies are not all possible to carry out as he neglects the impossibility for one to control his emotions. There are some oversights in his views such as rejecting all the righteous and unrighteous indignation and equal the meaning of punishment and revenge."

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