Pages in this set

Page 1

Preview of page 1
King Lear English Revision

Characters
Lear
Classic tragic hero- a powerful but fatally flawed ruler who, through hubris (excessive pride
or arrogance), destroys both himself and those around him.
Initially Lear is introduced as a powerful character- it is made obvious that he has
experienced absolute power for many years.…

Page 2

Preview of page 2
o Orders the castle gates to be locked against him
o Participates fully in the torture of Gloucester- urges Cornwall to take out the other
eye les `One side will mock another'
o Ambitious
o Keen to seek sexual pleasure, competing for Edmond's favour
o When poisoned she meets what…

Page 3

Preview of page 3
Gloucester does die of a combination of shock and joy when Edgar finally reveals his identity
to his father. Edgar might have delayed telling his father the truth out of fear that something
like this would happen. There are also reasons that Edgar might not reveal himself to his
father…

Page 4

Preview of page 4
Ultimate act of loyalty is when he hints that he will follow his master into death: `I have a
journey, sir, shortly to go: / My master calls me; I must not say no.'

Themes
Madness
In Jacobean England, the mad were thought to be possessed by devils and therefore…

Page 5

Preview of page 5
o Lear's disordered thoughts range over morality, justice and authority, and erupt in
savage emotion: `and when I have stol'n upon these son-in-laws / then kill, kill, kill,
kill, kill, kill!'
o At last, reunited with Cordelia, his mental torment ceases
Act 5
o The murder of Cordelia threatens Lear's…

Page 6

Preview of page 6
The play opens with Lear portrayed as an absolute monarch who demands unquestioning
obedience. Ruling on god's behalf.
Such absolute rulers also acknowledged a god-given obligation. It was their sacred duty to
keep their kingdom intact. Elizabeth emphasised that she had to answer to god for her
government of the…

Page 7

Preview of page 7
o Lear's love trial (1:1). Lear, as judge and jury, metes out the `justice' he thinks is
appropriate
o Cornwall's trial of Kent (2:2) , whose bluntness earns him instant punishment in the
stocks
o Cornwall and Regan's `trial' of Gloucester (Act 3 Scene 7) at which the old man…

Page 8

Preview of page 8
o Gonerill and Regan also detest this `aged tyranny' and want to take over power,
wealth and status
Families satisfy the human need for a sense of belonging and the security of love. Edgar and
Cordelia remain selflessly devoted to their fathers
At the beginning of the play Lear seems…

Page 9

Preview of page 9
Context
Nature, the cosmos and humankind
Plotinus rejected the belief that the stars guide human fortune, arguing that such a belief
gave people a ready-made excuse for their own bad behaviour
The great chain of being was the theory (held by Elizabeth's mathematics tutor Dr John Dee
among others) that…

Page 10

Preview of page 10
Sir William Allen, a former lord mayor of the city, in old age split his estate between his three
daughters and arranging to live with them in turn. Once they had his money, the old man was
treated with cruelty and disrespect
The eldest daughter of Sir Brian Annesley tried…

Comments

Sarah-Louise

Report

The spelling mistakes are extremely annoying.

Lydia13

Report

Really helpful resource for anyone studying King Lear. Lots of detail however not so much info it's overwhelming! Thank you.

Lauren Meisner

Report

This resource is really useful thanks so much!

Lauren Meisner

Report

This resource is really useful thanks so much!

Charlotte

Report

You are an angel; this and your volpone/blake one is great!!!!!!!!

Chloest_22

Report

Thank you so much! Very helpful

Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »