King Lear Notes

Topics: Evidence, King Lear, Defence mechanism Pages: 2 (492 words) Published: May 23, 2013
Literary Devices

“We two alone will sing like birds i' th' cage.”
Said when Lear is trying to console the crying Cordelia when they are in prison Simile is present, evident through the usage of the word ‘like’ to relate the imprisoned Lear and Cordelia to birds singing in a cage These words reflect Lear's central trait throughout the play: he is in denial of reality at every turn. Even now, in his madness and defeat he cannot face the harsh inevitability that neither he nor his daughter is likely to survive.

"Howl, howl, howl, howl! O! you are men of stones: / Had I your tongue and eyes, I'd use them so / That heaven's vaults should crack. She's gone for ever!" (V, iii, 258-61). Animal imagery connected with howling is used by Lear to express his deep grief over the death of his daughter Cordelia. He also references to heaven cracking, yet another example of natural disorder reflecting the chaos caused by Lear's retirement.

"This feather stirs," he says, "she lives!"
When we suffer a traumatic loss, we often hold out hope that a loved one is somehow still alive, despite concrete evidence to the contrary. Likewise, Cordelia's tragic death is just too painful for her father to accept and he convinces himself that it isn't really true. The feather, hence, functions as a symbol of Lear's denial, one of the most common elements of grief.

Significant Quotations

“Jesters do oft prove prophets.”
Addresses appearance, people may have a different side to them that is completely opposite of of their usual personality Someone with a sense of humour that jests will often prove to have another side to them that is wise and has knowledge and opinions of the world and the universe, that is not apparent in their usual joking personality. The fool in King Lear, though always joking around proved to have great wisdom behind his usual jesting personality

“All friends shall taste / The wages of their virtue, and all foes / The cup of their...
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