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A2- King Lear > Violence Theme > Flashcards

Flashcards in Violence Theme Deck (18)
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What are the 5 points explored?

Psychological violence
Natural violence
Lear's rejection of Cordelia
Blinding of Gloucester
Inevitability of violence

1

Introduction point

Natural order was set by the Divine Right of Kings
- the king abdicating would be unheard of; further emphasised by the distribution of his kingdom to his draughts due to the position of women in what was approximately 1605.
- contextually superstitious audiences wouldve predicted violent consequences of these actions

2

What two quotes go with Psychological violence (AO1+AO3) ?

'Into her womb convey sterility' [Lear]
'We must accept that fathers are owed particular duties from their daughters and be appalled by the chaos that ensues when these primal links are broken' Kate McLuskie (1985) feminist critic

3

What was Kate McLuskie's quote? (1985)

'We must accept that fathers are owed particular duties from their daughters and be appalled by the chaos that ensues when these primal links are broken'

4

Who said, 'We must accept that fathers are owed particular duties from their daughters and be appalled by the chaos that ensues when these primal links are broken'

Kate McLuskie (1985)

5

Talk through the psychological violence point

Not all violence is physical - there is emotional trauma also; e.g. Lear curses Goneril barren: as she has removed his purpose as king and respected father, he retaliated by removing her purpose as a mother.
Inappropriate response to her instructing him to reduce his following.
'Into her womb convey sterility'
Conflict in interpretations: Lear is victimised and disrespected in his vulnerability vs. Lear's selfishness: he only wants all followers to retain power- a power which he divided up and revoked ownership of. (Contextualise illegality of private armies- justifies Goneril's position)
> For AO3 contextualise Goneril's actions as a woman in society - running the home and Kingdom - potential sympathy for Goneril.
A feminist criticism would appreciate more the realistic position of the women.
McLuskie 'we must accept that fathers are owed particular duties by their daughters and be appalled by the chaos which ensues when this primal links are broken'.

6

What 4 quotes can be used to describe the natural violence of the storm?
(2 AO1s and 2 AO3s)

'Singe my white head'
'Your horrible pleasures'

'Nature's revenge is absolute ' (Mellor)
'The Heath is both a real place and a place in the mind.' (Michael Ignatieff, 1984)

7

Who said, 'The Heath is both a real place and a place in the mind.' (Natural violence, the storm) ?

Michael Ignatieff (1984)

8

The Natural Violence / the storm, point:

The Storm acts as a symbiosis of Lear and the elements: portrays the internal, psychological conflict that Lear is subject to (Act 3 Scene 2),
'Singe my white head'
Permitting the violence - links to finding a perverse pleasure, brutality of his psychology, 'your horrible pleasures' - calming element, sacrificial lexis proves a symbiosis of Lear and nature, unifying them to portray the violence in Lear's mind = psychological instability.
STORM IS AN EXTERNAL MANIFESTATION OF INTERNAL VIOLENCE - he argues with a believed consciousness, Mellor 'Nature's revenge is absolute' - applying a consciousness to nature

9

What quotes go with Lear's rejection of Cordelia? (AO1+AO3)

'Come not between the dragon and his wrath'

'Cordelia blends largesse and limitation in her first appearance in the play' Terry Eagleton

10

What does Terry Eagleton say about Cordelia?
(Lear's rejection of Cordelia)

'Cordelia blends largesse and limitation in her first appearance in the play'

11

Lear's rejection of Cordelia point:

Lear fails to see through the deception of Regan and Goneril and responds to Cordelia's refusal to conform in a verbally violent way,
'Come not between the dragon an his wrath'
Metaphor for his own anger mirroring the legendary destruction of a dragon; although it is not a response of physical violence, the lexical choices prove he is using his constitutional power to express his violent feelings
- interpretations: Lear is blind to the truth and self absorbed, fails to see te manipulation
- Lear is disappointed in Cordelia, youngest/favourite, and doesn't know how to express his heartbreak- King would not be used to being told 'no.'

12

The quote used for the blinding of Gloucester

Cornwall 'Blind him, I say'
Regan 'Hard, hard! Oh filthy traitor!'

13

Blinding of Gloucester point:

Regan, Goneril, Cornwall and Oswald all had a part to play in terrible mistreatment - believed to be a 'traitor'
> instruction from Cornwall is a definite action of unjustified violence. Contemporaneously, treason was worthy of the highest punishment. Further emphasised by Regan's declaration of exclamatives show not only her commitment and passion, but the brutality of the act.
Could potentially be her directing her overwhelmed emotions to appear in support of her husband

14

The two quotes for the inevitability of violence (AO1+AO3)

'The wheel has come full circle'

'His madness marked the end of the wistful, egotistical monarch.' Barbara Everett (1960)

15

What critical quote is used for the inevitability of violence, and who wrote it?

'His madness marked the end of the wilful, egotistical monarch.' Barbara Everett (1960)

16

The inevitability of violence point:

The final act encapsulates the themes of a classic tragic play: many violent deaths, including Edmund dies in the duel and the believed murder-suicide of Goneril and Regan. Significantly also, the innocent figure Cordelia, is unjustly killed in a preventable death, only to be found by her father, who dies with her in his arms. The frequency of the violence shows the fragmented society that remains, however it is presented in an almost predicted, inevitable way, 'the wheel has come full circle'. Justice has been served for those who cannot seek it for themselves and the innocent are at peace from the constant violence.
Violence therefore appears natural, and could potentially be believed to be as a result of the disorder caused by the upheaval of the Feudal system at the start.

17

Introductory/ concluding critic quote:

A.C. Bradley (1957) 'the vastness of the convulsion both of nature and human passion'