king lear

Topics: William Shakespeare, James I of England, King Lear Pages: 9 (1434 words) Published: October 22, 2014
Advanced Placement in
English Literature and Composition
Individual Learning Packet

Teaching Unit

King Lear

by William Shakespeare

Written by Eva Richardson

Copyright © 2006 by Prestwick House Inc., P.O. Box 658, Clayton, DE 19938. 1-800-932-4593. Permission to copy this unit for classroom use is extended to purchaser for his or her personal use. This material, in whole or part, may not be copied for resale.

ISBN 978-1-60389-340-4
Item No. 301474

King Lear


King Lear
By the end of this Unit, students will be able to:
1.trace the development of the main plot in the play and indicate how and where the subplot parallels the main plot.
2.trace and analyze the development of the following characters: Lear, Cordelia, Regan, Goneril, Kent, Gloucester, Edgar, Edmund, Cornwall, Albany, Oswald. 3.trace the causes, symptoms, and consequences of the developing madness that plagues King Lear throughout the play.

4.trace and analyze relationships between characters, especially between Lear and Cordelia, Regan and Goneril, Edmund and Edgar, and Gloucester and Edgar. 5.

analyze Shakespeare’s use of language:

• rhyme and meter
• figurative devices such as metaphor, simile, personification, etc. • dramatic conventions such as pun, aside, allusion, subplot, etc.


analyze the function of the Fool.


define the concept of the tragic hero by looking at the example of King Lear.


trace the following themes in the play:

• old age and the ingratitude of the young

• the concept of Natural Order in terms of family relations and the influence of fate, the stars, and the gods

• the meaning of “nothing”

• the conflict between sight and insight, vision and blindness, ignorance and self-knowledge

• reality versus appearance

9.respond to multiple-choice questions similar to those that appear on the Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition exam.



King Lear


King Lear
Lecture Notes
Shakespeare and His Times
William Shakespeare was born in the town of Stratford-Upon-Avon in England in 1564. Queen Elizabeth I was the ruling monarch when Shakespeare came to live in London to develop his skills as a poet, playwright, actor, and theater director. In London, Shakespeare joined the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, a theater company that allowed him to concentrate on his career as a writer and actor. Once King James I succeeded Queen Elizabeth in 1603, the company was renamed The King’s Men. Shakespeare’s company frequently performed at Court as well as in other theaters around the city. In 1616, Shakespeare died in Stratford-Upon-Avon, having become one of the most popular and renowned playwrights in English history. The Elizabethan Age was a time of great prosperity and wealth in England. Furthermore, it was an era that was marked by significant scientific discoveries, explorations, and inventions. Scientists like Copernicus (1473 – 1543), for example, revolutionized Western thought by demonstrating, for the first time, that the planets revolve around the sun rather than the earth. Although many people at first hesitated to accept such startling new ideas, Shakespeare’s time, a period also known as the English Renaissance (1500 – 1650), saw a decreased interest in the outdated ideas inherited from the Middle Ages and a growing fascination with new ideas that emphasized the importance and potential of each individual human being. People like Martin Luther, Leonardo Da Vinci, and John Milton initiated significant changes in religious beliefs, politics, and the arts and stood as examples of the “Renaissance Man” who accumulates skills in a vast variety of subject matters and areas of study while actively participating in public life.

Several of the groundbreaking ideas that...
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