Thursday, October 13, 2016

Abby's Prewriting

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  Edgar asserts that we ought to choose honesty over propriety and implies that one should respect his or her elders in addition to fulfilling the responsibilities put on you by circumstance.

In my own analyzing and annotating, I have been trying to focus more on recognizing rhetorical elements and the specific themes discussed in class. The themes that I have found most interesting within the text have been foolishness, honesty, loyalty, and nihilism. I have tried to notice specifically how the rhetoric has conveyed these themes.

The conversation on Slack has helped me to approach the text in a way unique from my individual reading. I have used both media sources and informal, online sources to develop my own claims and respond to others. One specific example was when the discussion focused on sound (specifically alliteration and plosives throughout the storm). I found a media source in response, and actually hearing the words and the storm together helped me to get a better feel for the emotional distress of the scene.

The question that helped me focus my working claims was:
How does "King Lear" serve as a critique of patrilineal monarchy?

[Policy Claim] "King Lear" shows that patrilineal monarchy should not be the English standard.
[Definition Claim] "King Lear" shows that patrilineal monarchy is not a viable solution for the inheritance of power.
[Comparison Claim] Although Cordelia and Edgar prove faithful by the end of the play, the loyalty of servants and friends stands in contrast to the lack of filial and familial loyalty shown primarily by Regan, Goneril, and Edgar.
[Evaluation Claim] While familial loyalty is typically valued over loyalty to friends and servants, the loyalty involved in service and friendship is actually stronger than familial ties because it is inherently optional.
[Causal Claim] Making Edmund both the bastard and the villain of "King Lear" does not discredit Shakespeare's questioning of patrilineal authority, but rather strengthens it by making his motives arguably justifiable.


  1. I would be soooo interested to see Shakespeare as a dance. Your claims make me curious though. Do you think that adding dance to Shakespeare is a good or a bad thing?

    1. I'm actually not sure at this point and that's what I would love to research further. I consider myself a dance enthusiast, but for most of the productions that I have attended, I focused more on the aesthetic and technical elements of dance rather than how accurately the production would carry over important thematically elements that were otherwise done through language. I'm also interested in the difference between dance that uses music with lyrics compared to dance that uses only instrumental music.

  2. I feel like your screenshot and caption introduce an interesting idea. You interpreted the quote as meaning that we should choose "honesty over propriety." But isn't that what Cordelia did in the first place that started the whole mess? This could be answered by your claim that we should also respect our elders, but I don't know if that arises from the quote. Is there a place in the last scene that you're pulling this analysis from?

    1. It is what Cordelia did in the first place and that's why I thought it was a super interesting quotation to end on. It's almost contradictory because by "respecting her elders" (i.e. her father) the whole mess could have possibly been avoided. But then, with the line "The weight of this sad time we must obey," I feel like Edgar is implying a sense of fate and loss of control. I haven't quite reached an eloquent conclusion, but I thought that all of these elements (which were critical to the play's development) were brought up with these final four lines.