Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Final Topic Thoughts

Share it Please
For my paper, I've decided to focus on certain historical aspects that may have shaped King Lear's character, (I.e. The example of certain failed monarchs in Britain's past.) I gathered most of my information and research material from a documentary series BBC put out a while ago, but I'm also looking for some more scholarly sources, perhaps an account of how widely known Britain's history was among the population in Shakespeare's day. Something I've noticed from the Slack feed is that a lot of folks seem to be turning to seemingly unrelated sources and finding connections to Shakespeare. (I.E. Leah's Startrek idea. I think that's pretty awesome, by the way. 😊)

I find I'm running into some trouble making a viable claim as to why this matters, though. Sure, it's interesting, but beyond that, it doesn't seem to mean much. Personally, I'm a big believer in the notion that history has a great impact on all forms of writing and art. (Everything has to come from somewhere, right?) I am just running into a little trouble proving that to my audience, and making a solid argument to that effect.

 I've included the link to one episode of said documentary series. Hopefully, some of you will find it to be as fascinating as I have. 


  1. Your topic is very similar to Maddie's, it might be helpful if you bounced ideas off of each other. Also, if it's helpful, when I was writing my King Lear paper, I noticed there are quite a few people who compare Queen Elizabeth to Cordelia. Good Luck!

  2. I wrote a similar paper over the summer, and I found this website helpful. The "historical context" section is at the very bottom, so you'll have to scroll. https://www.college.columbia.edu/core/node/1763
    I argued, however, that the theme of division in Lear had more to do with King Henry's break from Catholicism than Elizabeth's theory that she embodied the state, which is kind of a difficult position. Anyway, I think this is very interesting, and a great paper topic, and it's important because Lear's division of power is seen as a bad thing whereas our modern democracy sees it as a good thing; why? Have we lost faith in our leaders? Based on Lear, is that loss justifiable? The underlying themes of Lear contradict everything Americans hold dear; or do they, because Lear's refusal to step down results in violence, as a sort of bitter commentary on tyranny? These topics are especially important during election season and definitely worth thinking about