King Lear - PowerPoint

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					King Lear: Act 1V & V
                Act 1V Sc 7
• Cordelia salutes Kent’s loyalty to Lear
• Propitious mood is established by mutual
  affection and esteem. Scene of pathos and
  renewal. Sleep, music have powerful healing
  properties. Sense of restoration is heightened.
• Seeks to waken him with a kiss
• Fairy tale element but no happy endings
• Cordelia greets him as a king
• Kneels humbly before him p354
                 Act 1V Sc 7
• Reunion between father and daughter
• Sublime, supreme moment p355
• Lear shows awareness of madness
• Fresh garments symbolize his restoration
• Radical change - will even listen to ‘Poison’ if it
  comes from Cordelia
• C is nobly generous ‘no cause’
• Discord, chaos to harmony and order
• Cordelia and Lear walk together – reunited
  which inspires hope for the King and kingdom
                    Act V Sc 1
• Edmund in command yet devisiveness evident. Critical
  of Albany ‘He’s full of alteration’
• Regan – more concerned with acquiring Edmund. They
  are about to face battle but she allows her jealousy to
  dominate her
• Loathing for her sister reaches feverish pitch as her
  hostility intensifies
• Goneril equally skewed in her values ‘I had rather lose
  the battle’ line 19
• Albany torn between doing what is right and fighting off
  invading force
• Regan determined G should not be alone with Edmund
                Act V Sc 1
• Edgar still in disguise gives a letter - from
  G to Edmund- to Albany
• Implies an affair has been going on
• Edmund’s soliloquy makes it clear that the
  sisters have been pawns in his game
• Machiavellian view of Albany – he will
  serve a purpose and then be disposed of
• Evil intensifies he will never pardon Lear
  and Cordelia. ‘Defend not debate’!
              Act V Sc 2
• Edgar contrasts with the cruel malcontent
  Edmund. He is steadfast and provides
  antidote to evil and pessimism – ‘Give me
  thy hand’
• Lear and C have lost the battle and been
  captured
• G sinks into another depression but Edgar
  rallies him around ‘Men must endure’
                       Act V Sc 3
• Edmund in control and Lear and Cordelia are his prisoners
• C desperate to console Lear but he longs for prison where they will
  be alone
• Lear grasps finally how superficial court life is and reassures C –
  redeeming himself as a good parent
• Albany wants Justice and asks that L & C be safely delivered to him
  for safekeeping
• Edmund argues that is not the best action as they will ‘pluck
  common bosom on his side’p368
• Albany calls Ed inferior ‘a subject…not a brother’
• R & G squabble over Edmund
• Albany arrests Ed for treason and condemns his wife and sister this
  adds new dimension to his character. He sees absurdity of situation
  and asserts his control.
                        Act V Sc 3
• Regan is poisoned by Goneril. Their evil viciousness reaches climax
  as they turn on one another. Absurd if it was not for their venom.
• Edmund accepts challenge of duel.
• Regan is taken away ill
• Microcosm of the battle between good/evil that has dominated the
  play as Edgar as a masked warrior takes up challenge to fight. ‘draw
  thy sword’. P374
• Edgar’s victory as he conquers the ‘toad spotted traitor’
  demonstrates the restoration of virtue.
• Edmund confesses and is softened as he recognises wheel of fate
  ironic as he initially scorned this.
• Edgar force for justice even if it is ‘rough’ regrets he did not reveal
  himself sooner as Glouc dies from joy/grief.
• G & R final act of treachery – G having poisoned R turns the knife
  on herself. p382
                    Act V Sc 3
• Bodies brought on to the stage in a strange tableaux of
  death. Usually they are trying to remove them from the
  stage! All three daughters will be dead at the end.
• Albany can’t bear to look at them ‘cover their faces’.
• Edmund attempts to save L & C as he and G have given
  orders that C should hang and they will say she
  committed suicide! Edmund is removed to die. p385
• Lear’s entry is a painful contrast to his regal procession
  in Act 1
• Murder of C is a hideous climax to the cruelty that runs
  through the play.
• Regeneration is blasted all is bleak and sterile but Lear
  has redeemed himself – at what cost?
                        Act V Sc 3
• Edmund’s death (p389) is ‘but a trifle here’ but his evil influence is
  clearly felt as he is responsible for the royal deaths as well as his
  father’s fate. His own death is richly deserved even if he does try to
  redeem himself.
• Albany reasserts moral values that have become so skewed and
  rises to lofty height.
• In L’s closing lines we witness the cracking of his heart and mind.
  Immense pathos as he fumbles with the absurdity of life and
  death.390
• Lear dies possibly believing C is alive – reunited at last? ‘look her
  lips’.
• Edgar and Kent have the final words – K’s stoicism is moving as he
  anticipates his own death and a reunion with Lear. There is
  reassurance in Edgar’s final words as he gives reverence to the old
  while showing a humble, self-effacing face of the young. Carrying
  C’s mantle perhaps.
     Critical Reviews - C17th
• Although King Lear does not seem to have
  been as popular as Hamlet or Macbeth we
  can assume that the play was well
  received as it was performed for James 1.
• It was rewritten by Naham Tate in 1681 as
  he felt the ending was far too gloomy. His
  version included a happy ending – Lear
  does not die and E & C are united
  romantically.
                18th Century
• Joseph Warton 1753 agreed with Tate as he
  reckoned Gloucester’s blinding was too horrid
  to be exhibited on stage and the daughters
  were too savage and diabolical to be credible.
  He accepted the way in which ‘ the wicked
  prosper and the virtuous miscarry’ because of
  verisimilitude.
• Samuel Johnson 1768 – found C’s death
  deeply shocking and took Shakespeare to task
  for the lack of justice at the end of the play.
                  C19th
• By the end of the century after mixed
  reviews Victorian critics saw a grandeur
  and strength in the play it was recognised
  as a great literary achievement.
• Brandes believed the play as a whole
  portrayed ‘ the titanic tragedy of human
  life’. Swinburne was struck by the dark
  fatalism of Shakespeare’s vision.
                    C20th
• A.C. Bradley – A Shakespearean tragedy is the
  tragedy of an individual who suffers as he comes
  to terms with his personality. Bradley made
  many criticisms of King Lear however he
  conceded that the play was ‘one of the world’s
  greatest love poems’.
• Wilson Knight – ‘Mankind is deliberately
  tormented by the Gods’. ‘The tragedy is most
  poignant in that it is purposeless and
  unreasonable’.

				
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posted:8/9/2012
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