OCR A2 King Lear Quotes with Themes and Some analysis

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King Lear ­ Quotes
King Lear = written in blank verse (5 unrhymed iambic pentameters) and prose
As Lear descends as does his language from poetry to prose, Lear also uses 3rd
person ­ (royal "we") and ("methinks") when he recognises he is powerless
Animal Imagery
The sisters are continuously associated with aggressive animals and, in the end, they
are destroyed by their own animal instincts. However the animalistic actions of Goneril
and Reagan are not the only evil, there is also the deliberate rejection of God by
Edmund which informs his world view
"Sharptooth unkindness, like a vulture, here"
"Tigers, not daughters"
"Pelican Daughter"
"Like Monsters of the deep"
However in the final scene there is attractive animal imagery where he pictures
life in prison where he and Cordelia will "sing like birds in a cage"
Goneril and Reagan go against the Renaissance model where women were
expected to be quiet and modest
Suffering and Madness
Madness = consequence of disturbing the natural order
Act 2 Scene 2 speech is full of contradictions refers to himself as "a poor old
man, As full of grief as age" then goes onto "I will have such revenges". The
speech ends in hyperbole and metaphor ­ "but this heart shall break into a
hundred thousand flaws"
the storm echoes Lear's inner turmoil and mounting madness: it is a physical,
turbulent natural reflection of Lear's internal confusion
The storm may also symbolize some kind of divine justice
Storm serves as a metaphor for England's suffering
"man is no more but such a poor, bare, forked animal" ­ In his madness he gains
Edgars craziness is used to heighten the pathos
His daughters are a "disease that's in my flesh...a boil"
Lear is "bound upon a wheel of fire" and "scalded" by his own tears
'The tempest in my mind / Doth from my senses take all feeling else
'Thou say'st the King grows mad: I'll tell thee, friend, / I am almost mad myself'
'O, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven
here I stand, your slave,
According to Aristotle horror and pity are two emotions you must feel when
watching a tragedy
"Thou, Nature, art my goddess" reference to Pagan deities going against very
Christian Medival and Renaissance England. Excert from Edmund soliloquy

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Edmund's intentions, it would have made him
very different and inferior to his brother Edgar.…read more

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Edmund 'Now, gods stand up for bastards'
Kent 'Now, by Apollo, king, thou swear'st thy gods in vain.' By giving Lear
ownership of the gods, Kent implies, of course, that they do not have objective
existence, but he also emphasizes the nature of Lear's relationship with the gods
as onesided. Lear, Kent implies, tends to extend his ideas about justice
upwards from himself. By using Lear's formula, Kent demonstrates that he can
use oaths in the same way as Lear to contrary ends.…read more

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Hysterica passio.. thou climbing sorrow" he compares his excessive emotions
to that of an ailing woman. (The implication is that Lear is not acting like a "man"
and that women have no control over their feelings.)
"Down from the waist they are Centaurs, Though women all above....…read more



amazing! I'm doing WJEC but this is so perfect! Thanks!!

Emily Sewell

This is brilliant! Just I wish there were page references for the quotes!!! >__<


Thank you so much! This is helped me A LOT! :D


super super super super!!!!!!!! ^.^

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