Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Litererary Analysis of King Lear

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An annotated example of a line symbolizing foolishness
My Annotating

Developing the ability to have interesting literary analysis has been difficult for me because I always seem to want to just follow the story rather than look at the deeper meanings, forms, and themes of the texts. Through this course, I have been challenging myself to look closer at poetical form found in our readings, themes that are relevant throughout a play, and literary tools used by the author. As I practice my analysis seems to have improved because I see a lot of what I annotate being brought up in Slack and class discussions.

Peer Discussion

The Slack discussion has been very helpful, as my peers have really opened up different ideas for me when it comes to King Lear. For example, the other day on Slack I made a comment about alliteration that created some dialogue between us students, as I read and responded to the dialogue, people kept bringing up how alliteration creates emphasis. This led me to a more intense study of King Lear’s prayer during the storm and why Shakespeare decided to emphasize that scene.


Here are a few claims of King Lear:

[Policy Claim] Although King Lear highlights a male protagonist and was written in a time of patriarchy, this play should be read as a statement of the power of women as exemplified in the characters of Regan, Goneril, and Cordelia.

[Definition Claim] Although many interpret the storm scene as the propelling the play forward, the storm symbolizes the power of Christ and how he can better a person.

[Comparison Claim] Despite the feud between the brothers Edmund and Edgar, these characters in comparison, exemplify the two opposing sides of King Lear’s personality.

[Evaluation Claim] Even though some have thought King Lear to be a Christian figure, it is better to look at Lear as a man between two different beliefs, paganism and Christianity.

[Causal Claim] Despite the belief that Goneril and Regan caused the destruction in King Lear’s life, it really is the foolishness of Lear dividing his kingdom that leads to his demise.



  1. I also really liked people's comments about the storm scene. I'm used to reading that scene as a weather report, with obvious symbolism regarding Lear's mental turmoil, but the exact significance of alliteration, word choice, and meter was something the Slack conversation really helped me with.

    1. Yeah I really enjoyed discussing the literary tools, which is weird because I never thought I would say something like that...

  2. I agree that your storm claim is interesting. Could you clarify the second half though? Who can be better? Why is that important? What actually facilitates that change?

    1. I guess I would be talking about Lear, to be honest, I need to do just a little bit more literary analysis to back up the storm claim. Good thing to think about though.