Wednesday, October 12, 2016

King Lear--Literary Analysis and Annotation

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An annotated example of a reference to the theme of foolishness
Technology and Shakespeare
Utilizing technology in my reading of Shakespeare texts has been an interesting new experience for me. I enjoy the ability that I have to take Shakespeare and his characters with me where ever I go. To me, this demonstrates the mobility that Shakespeare has, not just literally, but also in the way that his themes and characters are applicable to life across decades and even centuries. This thematic reading has contributed to some of the most interesting conversations that I've had with my peers on Slack.

Peer Discussion
The Slack forum that we have for communicating about our readings has allowed my views to be challenged. For example, with our reading of King Leer, it was proposed as an idea that the fool and Cordelia could be played by the same actor. They supported this idea with research they had done, providing both formal and informal sources. I hadn't even thought about this idea before someone else brought this up. That's why I love this method of discussing between class periods because it allows us to be exposed to different ideas before we arrive at class each week.

As a class, we have generally been doing better at doing rhetorical analysis and focusing on the language of plays. Hopefully, this will continue, although personally the thematic analysis is always what I find most interesting and that stands out to me most.

Thesis Building
As I've been doing the reading and contributing to these conversations, I'm always aware of how I can improve my writing of literary analysis. One of the things that I struggle with is creating powerful and clear thesis for my writing. Strong thesis statements, even in less formal situations, allow us to provide our readers with a clear idea of the idea that we are analyzing and providing details to support. Here a few examples of thesis statements that could be used in an analysis of King Lear:

[Policy Claim]- Although King Lear is a play about a king and his court, it should be read as a story about familial relationships because of its central connection with both Lear and his daughters as well as Gloucester and his sons.

[Definition Claim]- Despite the fact that Shakespeare's plays can be interpreted in many different ways, King Lear is a tragedy as demonstrated by the decline of Lear due to his tragic flaw.

[Comparison Claim]- While many insist that Cordelia and the Fool are two separate characters, Cordelia and the fool play a similar role as an advisor of Lear and therefore could be played by the same actor.

[Evaluation Claim]- Even though the play centers around King Lear and his daughters, the fact that Edgar is a better son to Gloucester than Edmund drives much of the plot and develops the theme of filial loyalty.

[Causal Claim]- Although Goneril and Regan's betrayal brings devastation to the kingdom, Lear's pride and hubris lead to the real tragedy at the end of the play.


  1. This comment is more about how you arranged your blog rather than the content (although your thesis examples helped a lot in writing my own, so thank you!), but I liked how you created your own categories/headings and implemented all the information Professor Burton asked us to share; I just used the headings in the assignment description, and my blog post reads a lot more bland.

  2. I totally looked at your thesis examples too!! I really like your causal claim just because I think it would make an interesting argument of how Lear was his own downfall!

  3. I think your comparison claim is your best one because it is the most argumentative and would yield a lot fo interesting analysis/research. I noticed with all your theses that you could flesh them out a little more, make them a little more detailed and argumentative, but they're pretty good otherwise!