Flashcards in Critics Deck (49):
Critics on Edmund
Charles Beauclerk, Race Capet, Nancy Maguire
What does Beauclerk say about Edmund?
Edmund is essentially an actor, who uses language of the old order - language of pity and responsibility ... For his own political ambitions
What does Capet argue about Edmund?
Far from being a villain, the self-proclaimed devotee of nature functions, amid the collapse of social order ... as the emissary of nature
What does Maguire argue about Edmund's final lines?
His attempt to redeem his lonely self is a gesture which conveys his suffering as an individual ... We can now pardon his impulse to acquire in order to protect himself.
Kathleen McLuskie and Marilyn French
What is McLuskie's argument?
Goneril and Regan are presented as demons, monsters, anything but human ... Women in power can only bring disgrace.
Marilyn French quote
[when women attempt to behave like men]: 'it topples the natural order and plunges the world into chaos
Which critics offer nihilistic readings?
Algernon Swinburne and Jan Kott
What is Swinburne's quote?
The doctrine of Shakespeare ... Is darker in its implication of injustice, it's acceptance of accident. ... Righteousness itself seems subject and subordinate to the masterdom of fate
Critics on family
Charley Hanly and Coppelia Kahn
Coppelia Kahn quote
Lear's madness is essentially his rage at being deprived of the maternal presence/Lear has habitually suppressed any needs for love
Which critics comment on the role of the Fool?
Marjorie Garber and Harold Bloom
What is Garber's quote?
The fool is a mirror ... Reflecting back at Lear his own concealed image
Critics on madness
Adrian Ingham, Josephine W Bennett, Charley Hanly
What points does Hanly make?
Madness is used as a device to strip away the illusory aspects of royalty
What does Adrian Ingham believe is the most accurate description of Lear's madness?
Unnatural melancholy, as outlined by Timothie Bright
Unnatural melancholy quote
'The heavy hand of God upon the afflicted conscience, tormented by remorse of sin'
Critics on Gloucester's blinding
L.C. Knight, S.L. Goldberg, A.M. Colman
What does L.C. Knight say?
The gouging out of Gloucester's eyes is a thing unnecessary, crude, and disgusting ... It helps to provide an accompanying exaggeration of one element - that of cruelty - in the horror that makes Lear's madness
What does A.M Colman claim?
In such a world, where gods are absent ... Gloucester's suffering and subsequent despair must inspire pity
The sheer fact of Gloucester's blinding, and our sheer horrified rejection of it as unendurable ... Stand at the very centre of the play
What does Anna Hermesmann argue?
Shakespeare emphasises the absence of justice in order to highlight the necessity of Christian values
There is no just force to establish objective morality
A.C Bradley quote
The business of the gods... Was not to torment him...but lead him to attain ... The very end and aim of life
Shakespeare concerns himself with the contrast between the two bodies of the king; one lives by ceremony, administering justice in distinguished regalia which set him above nature ... The other is born naked, subject to disease and pain.
G. Wilson knight quote (Gloucester's suicide)
The grotesque merged into the ridiculous reaches its consummation in this bathos of tragedy
The heavy hand of God upon the afflicted conscience, tormented by remorse of sin
So carelessly hurried over that it comes to nothing... By its own unimpressiveness makes insignificant everything that has reference to it
Charles Hanly on madness
Lear's madness is a device for stripping away the narcissistic illusory aspects of royalty
Hanley on Lear's demand
Nothing could be more threatening to a daughter than the demand
Lear makes ... Goneril and Regan ... are confronted by a father whose love for them is eroticised
There is nothing, except the cruel earth where man goes on his journey from cradle to grave
Shakespeare effected a grim irony by the use of two words which sound throughout the play like the tolling of a knell: 'nature' and 'nothing'.
Doctor Johnson on cordelia's death
Contrary to the natural ideals of justice
Doctor Johnson on Lear's pain
Lear would move our compassion but little, did we not rather consider the injured father than the degraded King
The doctrine of Shakespeare is darker in its implication of injustice, it's acceptance of accident ... Righteousness itself is subject and subordinate to the masterdom of fate
Lear, after being bound upon a fiery wheel, attaining patience and humility, is fit for heaven
Beauclerk on compassion
This new language of compassion proclaims a new social order founded on the politics of love
Kenneth Muir quote
'The gods are indifferent, or hostile ... there is no afterlife in which the injustices of life on Earth may be set right.'
Which critic saw Cordelia as a symbol of Christ?
G Wilson Knight quote
Mankind is ... Deliberately or comically tormented by the gods
Albany and Edgar vainly try to rebuild society in the same flawed pattern - Shakespeare questions it's 'faulty ideological structure'
Nature as a vital force, versus nature as ordained order - salvation versus damnation. Natural as moral.
Charles Hanly Quote about G+R
If Edmund was driven by jealous rage against his brother ... can less be said of Goneril and Regan?
Kenneth muir (nature)
The animal imagery is designed partly to show mans place on the chain of being, and to bring out the subhuman nature of the evil characters
The double was of nature ... Destructive on the one hand, beneficent on the other
Grievously contrary to primogeniture and the cosmic order
Catherine S Cox
Archetypes of virago and Virgo