Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Paper Pre-writing A Little Bit of Shakespeare is All I Need

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Lear's fall from the comfort of nobility leads
him to question the true worth of man when
stripped of his external adornments and garb.
He is completely subject to nature.
I chose to include this screenshot, as the highlighted section reveals Lear's paradigm shift. Throughout the beginning of the play Lear's pride blinds him to the true nature of people and himself, yet after he is cast into the tempestuous storm by his daughters he begins to recognize the core of human nature. Though many scholarly articles remark on Lear's progressive descent into madness, this highlighted passage demonstrates his confrontation with his previous paradigm after his tragic filial disillusionment, which actually enables him to form a humbler and more distinct identity.

After receiving some valuable feedback from Prof. Burton, I realized that I was completely lacking a central argument in my sonnet analysis. I wanted to boldly assert an argument which called in to question Shakespeare's flawless genius (gasp), but I wavered and fell back on the ubiquitous belief that Shakespeare is a genius and all that he does testifies of his genius. Though I do not attempt to question the brilliancy of King Lear, I have been able to gain a great deal of insight into Shakespeare's works as I continually question why Shakespeare composed passages in the the manner that he did. This has been invaluable in helping me to transition from analyzing theme, to analyzing the figurative language, metaphoric devices, and rhythm of King Lear.

I loved the easy accessibility of various types of sources through our #team-lear discussion. These various sources really helped our discussion to evolve into more complex ideas and questions as members of the group provided sources they found to supplement different reoccurring themes that the members tended to gravitate to. I thought it was interesting that the group tended to gravitate to different themes such as blindness and the role of the fool, but these main discussions allowed me to branch off into related themes that I had not considered before. I particularly enjoyed the social sources that members of the group shared, which helped me to realize the significance and relevance of King Lear to contemporary readers. Imagine that, Shakespeare's themes are still relevant today.

Working through various types of claims . . . 

[policy] Though the play's tragic ending is often understood as neither exalting evil or goodness, the reader should recognize Shakespeare's portrayal of Cordelia as a Christ figure, which helps to reveal the triumph of goodness as she provides redemption to Lear, saving him from the evil which sought to corrupt his sanity.

[definition] Lear's descent into madness is metaphorically symbolized by the raging storm he is cast into, yet nature's serves a dual role throughout the play, as it both embodies his madness and serves to heal his severe disillusionment and madness, for it strikes his soul and causes him to see the true nature of reality.

[comparison] Edgar's fall from the prestige of nobility is similar to that of King Lear; this similarity serves to offer both Edgar and Lear an opportunity of introspection, allowing both Edgar and Lear to gain humility and strip themselves of the pride which is so easily corrupted.

[evaluation] Sight serves as a powerful metaphor throughout the play, yet is through the physical of Gloucester's blindness that it becomes apparent that it is better to remain physically blind than to be mentally blinded and lose all sense of reality.

[causal] Edmund's contempt for his illegitimate or bastardly status ultimately resulted in the severing of the legitimacy of his relationship with Gloucester, causing the macabre scene of death in the end of the play.


  1. I'm so glad you wrote a claim about Cordelia serving as a Christ figure! I remember someone mentioned it briefly on Slack, and I thought that it would make a great paper topic.

  2. I particularly liked your evaulative claim the most; I think by connecting your argument to a central theme you can have a really strong paper.