• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

University Degree: King Lear

Browse by

Currently browsing by:

Meet our team of inspirational teachers

find out about the team

Get help from 80+ teachers and hundreds of thousands of student written documents

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. The world of Jacobean England was one of disorder due to immense changes within the social structure.

    The monarch of the time was believed to be God's representative on earth/an embodiment of God's will and naturally it followed that God installed a king and determined his length of reign and in keeping with this natural order the Lords and Commoners had their place under the monarch. King Lear is a play therefore that strives to display emerging generations and conflicts of age and status within the family. Indeed, the beginning scene sees Lear performing an act that was fundamentally abhorrent at the time - abdicating; "We have divided in three our kingdom; and 'tis our fast intent To shake all cares and business from our age, Conferring them on younger strengths," (1, I: 33-6).

    • Word count: 2026
  6. King Lear Is a Play Based Upon Love, Betrayal and Conflict. Discuss how King Lear’s Role as King of England Deteriorates

    Following this, his tone does dramatically changes towards all, even the Earl of Kent, a friend of the King. Kent: "The true blank of thine eye." (Act 1 Sc 1) The Earl of Kent still feels the actions of Lear towards Cordelia are unnecessary, and the above quote is a reference of Lears' eye being blank, a comment implying that King Lear is not seeing correctly, hence a disapproval form Kent over the situation. The quote also reads the 'true blank', giving Lear the impression that Kent is mocking him, as it implies that Kent is the wise one in

    • Word count: 2925

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."

Marked by a teacher

This document has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the document.

Peer reviewed

This document has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the document page.

Peer reviewed

This document has been reviewed by one of our specialist student document reviewing squad. Read the full review under the document preview on this page.