View Full Version : The Theme of King Lear

Green-Shirt Q
2012-06-12, 09:42 AM
So my Grade 12 English exam is coming soon, and the majority of the review (in fact, ALL of the review) was centered around The Great Gatsby and King Lear. Two works that we studied. This exam should be easy, because we took notes throughout the year while reading both works and discussed them in deapth.

The one problem? I seemed to have lost nearly all my King Lear notes. :smalleek: I have no idea how. Maybe I loaned them to a classmate and never got them back, but I don't remember doing that. And I don't seem to be missing notes on any other topic in school.

I do have a few notes about what actually happened in the play, but things like the themes (which I remind you guys is a sentence about what it's about, not individual words like "madness") are missing.

Is there any literay buffs around here that can help me out fill the gaps in my notes?

Note that this isn't cheating in any way. Our teacher has encouraged us to keep notes, share them with classmates, and get the answers from the internet if needed. This is just a back up in case my classmates don't let me look over and photcopy their notes for some reason like they said they would, or their notes just suck.

Thanks. :smallsmile:

The Glyphstone
2012-06-12, 12:37 PM
Isn't this why sites like Sparknotes exist?

2012-06-12, 12:57 PM
Don't forget that King Lear was heralded as a pioneer in aviation when he began marketing his private line of jets to the wealthy houses of Italy. I believe the regional manager he used, Antonio, is the same character as centered in The Merchant of Venice.

Green-Shirt Q
2012-06-12, 02:18 PM
Turns out I don't really need your help. Thanks for trying to sabatoge me, though, Fragenstein.

2012-06-12, 04:35 PM
No problem. That's why we're here. We are the internet.

The Glyphstone
2012-06-12, 04:40 PM
Man, that would make Shakespeare so much more awesome.

2012-06-17, 06:48 AM
I don't know about King Lear (other than the king and his three daughters) but I know Akira Kurosawa's adaption called Ran (A daimyo and his three dumb sons). All I know is that it is about power and the downfall.

2012-06-17, 06:57 AM
Gosh... I haven't read King Lear in ages... Got to dust off our copy of the complete works of William Shakespeare.

2012-06-17, 04:22 PM
Saw it once at the Utah Shakespeare Festival (which, if anyone has the chance to see, you have to see. It's that good). My friend and I came away with very different interpretations of Lear's madness. He saw it as a symbol of ultimate suffering and guilt. I saw it as an escape that let Lear out of suffering what he should have for his sins.

2012-06-17, 07:24 PM
King Lear is about irresponsibility (the King gives away his power to his daughters, but still wants all the nice parts like getting to eat before people), madness (King goes mad from loss of power and ultimate betrayal, Gloucester through the same, and the two evil daughters go mad through gaining power and becoming power-mad), and Despair (everybody's dead Dave, even the morality pet*).

*Especially the morality pet.

2012-06-18, 11:42 AM
Power is obviously the major theme that many people settle on, but I've always loved the relationship between Lear and the fool, coupled with the fool's disappearance and what it says about the transiant nature of power and reality. That's when Lear's madness really kicks in, and while many people view the fool as a representation of the king's sanity, I've always seen it as a representation of reality; once the fool disappears, reality for Lear starts to unwind. This obviously affects his mental state, but it's really more a question of the source than anything else.

I seriously need to get out more.