King Lear Essay

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King Lear Essay

You are a Year 12 student who has been commissioned to write an introduction to a new students’ edition of your text. You have been asked to discuss both your own contemporary, personal response to the text and also the way that other, different responses demonstrate the text’s enduring impact.

Compose your introduction, exploring your personal response to the text and evaluating the text’s reception in other contexts.

Throughout history, different texts have been interpreted in a variety of different ways, corresponding to the various values that these people believe are most evident and influential in the texts. The infamous play – The Tragedy of King Lear by playwright William Shakespeare - that is featured in this students’ edition, is a primary example of how a text can be historically endured through many decades and centuries and thus be exposed to a variety of different viewpoints. It is my belief that the predominant reason this text is still regarded as quintessential today, is the controversies that it features, particularly in regards to the final Act (and scene). It is furthermore my understanding that The Tragedy of King Lear should essentially be viewed in a Christian Humanist light however the viewpoint of Nihilism will be juxtaposed with this during this introduction to your students’ edition of the text. Finally it is arguable that the Nature of Man and the World (the presence of evil and good and the corresponding ramifications of decisions made by both of these entities on both man and the world) is the fundamental value of the text and can be critically analyzed effectively in the three scenes – Act 1 Scene 1 (the love test), Act 3 Scene 2 (the storm scene) and Act 5 Scene 3.

In Act 1 Scene 1 (the love test), Shakespeare displays a love test held by King Lear for his daughters Gonerill and Regan (who participate) and his favourite daughter Cordelia (who refuses to participate) in order to both divide his...
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