Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Rachel's Research Paper Prewriting

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This is a passage that alludes to inheritances, even to illegitimate children.
When I have highlighted readings for class in the past, I have usually just highlighted things that are interesting to me, or fun passages. In my sonnet analysis, I struggled with a central theme for me it, because I had not really looked for one or focused on one. But as I have been annotating for this class, I have been focusing on looking for themes and parts of speech that might be part of the completed story arc; this has helped my reading as more things have started to stand out to me while I am looking for themes and parts of speech within the text.

Using our online group chat, Slack, has really helped me to be able to put things in a better context while reading, and has helped me to realize that there are times when I need to do more close reading due to missing something in the text. I like trying out different sources for my research, even if it is a little weird to do, but by watching a YouTube video, I was able to put King Lear and the Fool in a different context early on in the play. This then influenced my reading, making me think that the Fool could be a representation of Lear's mental illness. Others comments on my posts have helped me to see where I can fill in research gaps: for example, when using social sources I have been asking about King Lear in general, but a comment made me realize that I could get so much more out of the conversation if I have a particular focus or comment to make while discussing the text with friends.

[policy] Despite King Lear being marked as insane, readers should look at him as a character embodying man's struggle to find himself and his place within his life and within society.

[definition] Even though the Fool is meant to be comic relief in the play, his role becomes greater with its progression: the Fool is an embodiment of the King's personality and mental illness brought to life.

[comparison] Though the Fool and Cordelia do not reside in the same sphere during the play, the two are similar in the role they play with the king - acting as his thoughts and conscience, and therefore bringing out two different human sides of Lear when they are needed most.

[evaluation] While Lear made poor decisions in his wish to divide his kingdom according to the amount of love shown to him by his daughters, he became better as the play progressed, ultimately realizing that people are more complex than he previously thought.

[casual] Though Edmund does not seem inherently bad, his actions and desire to gain a rightful inheritance resulted in not only his death, but the death of loved ones as well which caused the ultimate loss of his inheritance to the rightful heir.


  1. I am especially interested in your comparison claim. However, I wonder if you could make a more controversial point, perhaps suggesting some reason why Cordelia fills the role of the fool for the second part? Suggest some reason for the switch?

  2. Your comments on the development of our slack conversations is good. It is interesting to see how people's comments on things that I've already said have added to what I've said and helped me think of brand new things. I also liked your thesis statements. The only one that I feel could be improved is the your evaluation thesis...It wasn't quite clear to me what the evaluation was (what you were saying was better than something else).