Monday, November 14, 2016

Kevin's Annotated Bibliography (1)

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Brief Overview: King Lear, one of Shakespeare's most famous tragedies, has an interesting biblical parallel: the Book of Job. As the Bible was highly read during that period, those attending his plays were surely familiar with Job’s story not just from reading scripture or hearing the biblical story in sermons, but also from artwork. His audience would have easily connected the character of King Lear to the Old Testament figure Job due to the many similarities in plot and theme. However, Job's story is an allegory; Lear's is a tragedy.  

Working Title: An Imitation of the Book of Job: Reading King Lear as an Allegory

Working Thesis: Although King Lear is traditionally read as a tragedy, it should be read as an allegory because of its numerous parallels with the Book of Job in plot, theme, and speech. 

Scholarly Sources:

*I tried my best not to use JSTOR, but I was unable to access many of the articles I found. Quite frustrating.

1.) Everett, Barbara. "The New King Lear." Critical Quarterly 2.4 (1960): 325-339.

This article makes a compelling argument that if King Lear is to be a Christian allegory, then a Christ-figure must be found.

This source goes along nicely with my paper because the author is making the same central claim as me, just with different supporting arguments; I can juxtapose her thinking with my own to prove I am joining an ongoing literary conversation, boosting my credibility.

2.) Frost, William. "Shakespeare's Rituals and the Opening of ‘King Lear.'" The Hudson Review, vol. 10, no. 4, 1957, pp. 577–585. <>

Frost's article debates that it holds together really well as allegory--his take is that "its basic constituents are simply two contests of affection, the first among Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia, the second between France and Burgundy."

I will use more of his quotes about it the structure of the play that qualifies it as allegory; I probably won't touch too much (if at all) on his plot and character analysis. 

3.) Lipshitz, Yair. "Biblical Shakespeare: King Lear as Job on the Hebrew Stage." New Theatre Quarterly 31.4 (01 Nov. 2015): 359–371. <>

This article traces the impact of the connection between Lear and Job on the staging and reception of King Lear in Hebrew theatre; in the mid-1900s, the play attracted the interest of directors looking for Hebrew ‘biblical’ theatre, and "a web of intertextual allusions in the press tied Shakespeare’s tragedy to the Book of Job and to rabbinic interpretations of it."

This is a fantastic source because it shows how the similarities between Job and Lear even affect the performance by the production company, not just the audience's interpretation--they portray it as more of an allegory than a tragedy. 

4.) Snyder, Susan. "King Lear and the Prodigal Son." Shakespeare Quarterly, vol. 17, no. 4, 1966, pp. 361–369. <>

This article explores the possibility of King Lear being a parable, similar to the prodigal son. 

I will use this article to show how King Lear can be closely associated with the Bible, specifically that there is already a large amount of scholarship on Lear and biblical characters. 

Media Sources:

1.) Moore, Aubri. "Shakespeare's King Lear and The Book of Job from the Old Testament." N.p., 01 May 2013. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.

Aubri Moore makes this insightful connection concerning the similarities in plot: “Job's friends constantly berate him, sure that Job's fortune must have been from some fault or sin of his own. In a way, the Fool takes on this in Lear, reprimanding him for [his errors in judgement].”

I will use her quote when I am analyzing parallels in plot--her Prezi is chalked full of solid observations!

2.) Pearce, Belinda. "'King Lear in Respite Care' by Margaret Atwood." Vimeo, 12 Nov. 2012,

This short video depicts lonely old men while relating Margaret Atwood's poem "King Lear in Respite Care." 

I am not sure if I will use it yet, but I want to tie it in with the Bible's depiction of Job's loneliness; I think that would be a cool new twist to my argument. 


  1. This is a really cool topic! I look forward to hearing more about it!

  2. What a cool comparison! I definitely did not make this connection at all. It sounds like you were able to find a lot of good sources that support your thesis. I look forward to hearing more about it!