Thursday, October 13, 2016

Isaac's Lear Pre-Writing: I'm Going On An Adventure!

Share it Please
This illustrates how I annotated this ebook.
Form is marked in blue. Themes/content
is marked in yellow. These are some themes
that I have looked into for my paper.
My Analyzing and Annotating
Reading summaries before the text has helped to focus more on how the play is written rather than trying to figure out what is going on at the same time. I was able to use different colors to point out analysis of form, content, and just things that I liked (as shown on right). That will be helpful moving forward because it will allow me to easily find literary support for a strong claim, something that I felt was lacking from my sonnet analysis. I was even able to put in some notes connecting to sources that I and other people found and posted on slack.

Peer and Source Influences
The slack conversations have been enlightening. Through conversations, my own analyses have been questioned, tempered, or validated through others' opinions or through research. I was able to find and interact with good sources, such as this scholarly article dealing with Edmund's Redemption, found and posted by Brett, or this video portraying an extremely supportive Fool, both of which opened a new perspective on characters and themes.

My Working Claims

[Policy Claim] Although many have read King Lear as a critique and handbook on political policy, the play should actually be read as a critique and handbook on filial relationships, not only through Lear's relationships but also (and especially) through the Gloucester family.

[Definition Claim] Although it may seem that Cordelia is a righteous daughter, in actuality, she is just as selfish as Goneril or Regan, disrespecting her father and inheriting a fortune larger than that of her sisters.

[Comparison Claim] While both Kent and Edgar disguise themselves as different characters, Kent's disguise functions as a more selfless and helpful mechanism for the King, while Edgar's disguise is ultimately selfish and futile.

[Evaluation Claim] Although many characters try to help King Lear during his descent into madness, the Fool is the best support system to keep the King sane because of his [the Fool's] own insanity and selflessness.

[Causal Claim] Although some would argue that Edmund's evil intentions arise solely from society's stigmatization of illegitimate children, Edmund's real psychological struggle arises from his own negative conceptions of himself in relation to his father, Gloucester.


  1. I have to say that I love your idea of a selfish Cordelia. It's just very fascinating. I once heard that the whole first scene can be read as a manipulation by Cordelia, not necessarily to hurt her father, but to get what she wants, which may have been marriage to the person of her choice, or who would have her without a dowry. Looking at the story in a different way there was very smart of you!

    1. Thank you Garrett! It was an idea that came up as I was considering how filial relationships function, between the Lear and his daughters, and how Cordelia was banished but doesn't even try to stay and help, like Kent does. Do you know where you heard that about Cordelia's manipulation? I would love to do some research into that vein.

  2. I agree with Garrett the idea of a selfish Cordelia is very interesting. I also like your idea about the fools insanity, it makes me question the fool, and wonder how is it that insanity can aid sanity.

  3. You throw everything I ever knew about King Lear on its head. I already want to fight with you about the Cordelia and Edmund claims. Great job!