Tuesday, November 15, 2016

"Gaylie's Annotated Bibliography (1)"

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I would like to address the legitimacy and the divine right of kings and how Shakespeare as a propagandist used King Lear to address legitimacy and the common belief regarding the Jews. Shakespeare loved England and was very passionate about supporting the monarchy and government through his works. As a result much of his works can be seen in a propagandist light, as being even heavy handedly political in their support of the legitimacy of the English (Tudor) monarchy. Furthermore, part of establishing the legitimacy of the Tudor line required addressing the lineage of that authority as it was gained from Christianity. Shakespeare uses King Lear as a piece of propaganda to further build up the legitimate Christian claim on authority by demonstrating the tragic situation of the Jews and how they continue to follow their leaders in the dark because they fail to recognize that the authority has long been lost.
(As you can see from my last sentence, my working thesis is in need of a lot of work. Every piece I read seems to offer a slight way to tweak it to be a little more in tune. So I am excited to begin writing in earnest to really nail down thoughts so that I can clarify my claim accordingly.)

Scholarly Sources
Bezio, Kristin M.S. "Drama & Demigods: Kingship and Charisma in Shakespeare's England." Academia.edu - Share Research. Religions, 22 Jan. 2013. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.

  • An exploration of the idea of Charisma, a sort of grace that is granted to a king, by God when he performs his spiritual duties. 
  • I can use this as a way to explain and support my ideas about the divine right of kings and the spiritual duties an English king had to his Christian people.

"New Testament Primer: Pharisees and Sadducees." LDS Living. Deseret Book, n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.

  • This site features a breakdown of the Pharisees and Sadducees and their differences.
  • I am interested in using this source to possibly back my idea of Lear being a representation of the Pharisees. 

Baldwin, T. W. “On King Lear.” Modern Language Notes, vol. 37, no. 8, 1922, pp. 504–504. <www.jstor.org/stable/2914871.>

  • This article explains that Shakespeare is a propagandist and his addition of Burgundy, in King Lear, is an example of the propaganda employed by Shakespeare.
  • I am playing with the idea of incorporating a piece of this article to support my presentation of Shakespeare as a propagandist, possibly by citing this example.

Ebarb, J. "Shakespeare on the American Yiddish Stage (review)." Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, vol. 23 no. 2, 2005, pp. 131-133. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/sho.2005.0054.

  • A Jewish reading of Shakespeare, in Jewish version Cordelia doesn’t die, happy reconciliation. 
  • I might use this as a contrasted view of King Lear. The reading I present is a Christian reading, it might be useful to employ a Jewish perspective to highlight the differences.

Media/Informal Sources

Seth. “The Secret Jewish History of William Shakespeare.” Forward. Forward, 23 Apr. 2014. Web. 11 Nov. 2016. <http://forward.com/culture/196969/the-secret-jewish-history-of-william-shakespeare/>

  • A blog post featuring several instances of Jewish culture featured in Shakespeare's works.
    • Ariel in Tempest Shakespeare name meaning lion of the God.
    • Holofernes in Love’s Labour’s Lost
    • King Lear is essentially a Job figure in King Lear
    • As You Like It, themes about the Garden of Eden
  • I am considering using this as support for the fact that Shakespeare did talk about Jewish things, and thus it isn't a huge stretch to consider King Lear as his answer to the Jewish question, but this is a tentative idea.

Bardseyeview “Bardseyeview.” Blogspot. 25 Dec. 2005. Web. 11 Nov. 2016.
General rebuff about the anti-semitic themes throughout Shakespeare

  • This is a blog post featuring Shakespeare's treatment of England and the Jews. 
  • I am interested in incorporating the following quote as an introduction to why I think Shakespeare wrote King Lear as an answer to the Jewish question.
    • “Shakespeare loved England. He saw it as the premier expression of Western civilization. Ten of his 37 plays are English history plays, including an eight-play series. Their overriding theme is legitimacy; taken together they read like an updated version of Genesis and Exodus, the working out of which king or claimant for the throne reflecting the handing down of the Blessing from one Patriarch to the next.”


  1. Did you have a title in mind? How about "A Propagandist: Shakespeare's use of King Lear to Influence Opinions"?

  2. I think this is such an interesting topic. Your source about charisma seems fascinating- I'm excited to see where your paper goes! I think your thesis is really interesting, but I get a little lost because it's so long. Would splitting it into two sentences work?

  3. I like the references to the old Testament. I can see King Lear as Job in a sense. Great title too! It made me want to read your paper.