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  • Suffering
    • Introduction
      • Suffering in King Lear is intense and relentless, characters are driven beyond the limits of endurance
      • Gloucester and Lear especially are overwhelmed by their suffering: G dies of a broken heart and L's greatest agony is when C dies
      • Reflected in imagery of the play: L speaks of G&R physically attacking him: G "struck" him with her tongue and her "sharp-tooth'd unkindness"
      • According to aristotle, the two emotions an audience should feel are horror and pity: suffering in KL evokes both emotions in the audience.. Inc tragic hero
    • Suffering necessary anagnorisis/ redemption
      • LEAR: storm scene "Take physic, Pomp; expose thyself to feel what wretches feel" storm is a metaphore for england's suffering as well as Lears
      • GLOUC:      "I have no way, and therefore want no eyes; I stumbled when i saw" Metaphorical blindness to sychophance has led him to be physically blind
        • "As flies to wanton boys,are we to th'Gods; they kill us for their sport" Much like Lear Glouc realises the insignificance of man through his suffering
    • Shakespear presents guilt at the heart of all suffering
      • Religeous imagery
        • "thou art a soul in bliss, upon a wheel of fire"
        • Christian ethos underpins the play of forgiveness and redemption
          • CONTEXT: reminder to James who made strong convictions about the DROK eg in 1610: "kings are not only God's lietenants upon earth and sit upon God's throne, but even by God himself they are called Gods"
    • Evil or bad characters are mostly defined by their ability to pre-mediate and relish suffering
      • Let us "hit" together. Connotations of physical violence
      • "one side will mock another; th'other too// let him smell his way to Dover" sadistic pleasure
    • Good characters are able to empathise with the suffering of others... evoking pathos and cartharsis
      • GLOUC "I would not see thy cruel nails pluck out his poor old eyes" to regan about lear. Poor = pun evokes pathos in audience (foreshadow)
    • Conclusion
      • Through suffering, L and G become compassionat, and Edgar becomes strong and fit to rule. Through suffering they achieve heroism.
        • The best natures can absorb pain and learn from it, shakespear appears to suggest it is simply man's fate to suffer


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