King Lear: act 2 scene 4 revision notes

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King lear revision
Act 2 scene 4
Plot
Kent is still in the stocks and when Lear arrives he is outraged to find this and
refuses to believe that Cornwall and Regan put him there. Kent tells Lear of why
he is in the stocks.
The fool tells Lear that some of his men have left him as his is losing his fortune
but the fool stays loyal to Lear. Cornwall and Ragan refuse to see Lear as they
make an excuse that they are tired from travelling and Lear is both angry and
understanding to this. However, seeing Kent in the stocks makes him decide to act
and sends Gloucester to tell Cornwall and Regan that he will see them.
Lear complains about Goneril to Regan but she won't listen. Regan tells Lear he is
old and should allow him to be ruled by those who know what is best for him. Regan
wants Lear to ask for Goneril's forgiveness which Lear mocks. Lear wants to know
who put Kent in the stocks.
Cornwall admits to putting Kent in the stocks. Regan and Goneril both control Lear
by offering him to stay with less and less followers which lead to him having none
at all. Lear seems to think that the daughter who allows him the most followers
loves him most suggesting he thinks love is materialistic. When Regan asks why he
needs any at all Lear argues that man is more superior than animals as he can have
more than the basic needs. Lear then leaves with the fool and enters the storm.
Themes
Gender roles and differences- Regan and Goneril both go against the social
conventions of the time by being controlling and manipulating.
Conflict- Lear is having his power attacked by his daughters
Nature- Lear wonders what it is to be human and what separates us from
animals.
Competition- Regan and Goneril are in competition with Lear for his power.
Characters
Lear- shows confusion and madness as he shows both sympathy and anger
when told Cornwall and Regan are too tired to see him. He is also losing his
power as he has to ask twice to find out who put Kent in the stocks as no
one listens to him.
Regan and Goneril- become more controlling and behaving in a way that isn't
expected of women.
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King lear revision
Opposition of Tannen's gender theory as Regan and Goneril don't put
emotion ahead of fact and also use imperatives which is usually a
characteristic of male talk. They also use talk to show dominance instead of
seeking support which is also more of a male characteristic of talk and not
expected of women according to this theory.
Lear compares his daughters to a blood blister on his skin. This use of
metaphor (lines 219-223) suggests they are a burden to him.…read more

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