Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Prewrite: A Shot in the Dark

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Marking a book while reading is one of the most effective ways of truly engaging with a text.

Previous to the first discussion of or notes I was entirely blind to the theme of sight glaring from each page. After Shelby pointed it out, the frequency of this theme almost made it an eyesore. Thematic literary analysis has allowed me to look at the play more carefully and see more deeply into what is before me.

I have benefitted from the discussion on Slack about the fool and his relationship with King Lear. It has been really helpful to read classmate's posts about the decline of Lear's mental state and the symbolism of this decay actually resulting in his being more able to see what is actually going on. I appreciated that conversation especially because it was one I struggled with on my own.

[causal claim] Despite being the reason for Gloucester's blindness, Edmund is ultimately the reason Gloucester gains the knowledge and insight that he does, forced from his position in society, he has to depend on Beggar Tom and from him gains knowledge.

[policy claim] King Lear should be listened to in some audio format to fully appreciate the powerful rhetoric with which Shakespeare, through Lear, addresses the storm, accepting its abuse and maltreatment which he compares to the treatment he has received from his daughters.

[comparison claim] Comparing the two great patriarchs, King Lear and Gloucester reveals a plague of blindness infects them both, suggesting a criticism of a patriarchal society.

[defining claim] Lear is a tragic hero, he has to overcome his pride to truly see things as they are, to do this he must strip off the cultural labels and expectations but also the personal labels and roles he has assumed.

[evaluative claim] Shakespeare's use of settings to describe the internal moods of his characters allows him to connect with his audience and convey emotions in a way that is more accessible that any of his competitors.


  1. Your first paragraph is golden.

    I find your evaluative claim really interesting--how do you plan to research this? Who even are Shakespeare's competitors? How is something like that measurable? Definitely a great research topic.

  2. These are some really solid thesis statements! While some parts might be hard to measure, I think that you capture really neat topics!

  3. I agree, solid thesis statements! I think that your comparison thesis is unique and would be very interesting to read about.