King Lear act 1 scene 1 revision notes

revision notes include plot, themes in this scene, characters and language features

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English king lear revision
Act 2 scene 1
Plot
Scene opens with Kent and Gloucester discussing the king's plans to divide the
kingdom. Kent asks about edmund who is Gloucester's illegitimate son.
Lear divides the kingdom into 3 by which of his daughters love him the most, so
Goneril and Regan take it in turns to flatter him. Cordeila feels that she can't say
what isn't true so she says that she loves Lear as she should which results in her
being disowned by Lear.
Kent tires to defend her which makes Lear more angry and ends up in Kent being
banished
Burgundy and france want to marry Cordeila but when Burgundy heres that she
has no dowry he looses interest. France however, is happy to marry her without a
dowry.
Goneril and Regan discuss how to make sure lear doesn't control them. Regan thinks
her father doesn't knwo what he is doing suggesting he was never a good ruler.
Cordeila is worried they will take advantage of Lear's old age.
Themes
Madness- regan doesn't think Lear knows what he is doing
Age- Lear is old and wants to retire and so gives his control to his
daughters. Beginning of young ruling the old.
Family relationships- lear wants to give his power over to his daughters, and
they use this to their full advantage.
Power and status- lear has most power at the moment as he is king he uses
commands in most of his speech and has everyone else address him formally.
However, this is the point of the play where he begins to loose his power as
he is giving it away to his daughters. His high status will then be sacrificed
as a result.
Characters
Kent- loyal to Lear despite seeing the mistake he is making. His loyalty
means he accepts his punishment of banishment
Lear- immature as he decides his kingdoms fate by which of his daughters
loves him most
Regan and Goneril- come across as the villains in this play already as they
seem to be plotting against Lear and trying to manipulate him. Regan thinks
she is wiser than Lear.

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English king lear revision
Language features
Semantic field of flattery- "grace, health, beauty, honour". She says her
love for Lear is greater than all these things, this isn't true as she is
flattering him in order to manipulate him and get what she wants
Semantic field of wealth- "self metal" "prize" "precious" uses these to
connote how rich her love is for him.
Lear uses lots of imperative utterances as he has the highest status and the
power that comes with it "Speak again".…read more

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