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Forum Home > Shakespeare > OCR style essay titles on Lear

Neil Bowen
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Character based questions

 

Cordelia

‘Cordelia brings to the play heroism, compassion and judgement’ - to what extent do you agree?

‘To see Cordelia’s death as intrinsically redemptive is simply to mystify both her and her death’.

By exploring the dramatic presentation of her character evaluate the view that it is Cordelia’s ‘honesty and directness that set her apart’.

 

Edgar & Edmund

To what extent do you agree that ‘Edgar is a less attractive character than his brother Edmund’?

‘Isn’t Edgar’s slick manipulation of roles - so many personae, so many voices, such multivalent concealment on a grand scale - as much indicative of a ready liar and deceiver, of personal and moral insincerity and emptiness’? (Valentine Cunningham)

For A.C.Bradley Edgar is the ‘most religious person in the play’. To what extent do you agree?

Stanley Lowell suggests Edgar’s pronouncements indicate a ‘terrible, even psychotic puritan body of revulsion in which sex is always ‘the act of darkness’. To what extent is this revulsion evident in the play?

Edmund does not destroy other characters; he provokes them to destroy themselves’ To what extent do you agree?

 

The Fool

By analysing the presentation of the fool in King Lear, evaluate the idea that ‘his role is that of the detached and isolated observer.’

 

Goneril

By exploring the dramatic presentation of Goneril in ‘King Lear’, evaluate the view that “committing suicide demonstrated an ability to commit the worst sin possible and therefore, characters who kill themselves, achieve the status of the ultimate villain.”

 

Kent

‘Kent’s role in the play is often undervalued; he is more important than he seems.’

Consider this notion by evaluating the role of Kent in King Lear.

 

Lear

By exploring the dramatic presentation of Lear in ‘King Lear’, evaluate the view that 'The play is primarily the story of Lear's education and redemption.'

“Lear seems fully aware of his failings and vulnerabilities.” By considering Lear’s journey through the play and the theme of madness, evaluate this view.

By exploring the presentation of Lear, evaluate the view that “The downfall of Shakespeare’s tragic heroes is caused by a “flaw” in their character.”


Character Relationships

‘It becomes evident over the course of the play that Lear and his daughters are more alike than they first appear’. Evaluate this view by analysing the presentation of Lear and his daughters.

‘She is vital to her father; in losing her he loses himself’. Evaluate this view by exploring the relationship between Lear and Cordelia.

Examine the view that ‘Gloucester’s suffering is the most tragic in the play’.

The fool’s cynical worldview has more in common with Edmund, Goneril and Regan than it does with Cordelia’. Evaluate this view by examining the dramatic presentation of the Fool in ‘King Lear’.

‘The Fool makes certain that the point of view for which Cordelia stands in the story is maintained when she is off-stage’. Evaluate the presentation of the Fool in the light of this comment.

 

 Genre

‘A domestic tragedy acted out in the public sphere’. Evaluate this view by examining the domestic and the societal in this play.

 

Settings

‘The business of the state is counterbalanced by moments of intimacy and affection’. Evaluate this view by exploring the presentation of public and private relationships in the play.

‘The world of the court is revealed to be unstable and dangerous whereas the natural world is presented as benign and restorative.’ Evaluate this view by exploring the key settings in ‘King Lear’.

 

 

Thematic

‘The play’s dramatic impact springs from deception and disguise’. To what extent do you agree?

‘Everything bad in the play follows from failures to meet what’s obliged by personal and social status - massive renegings on personal, moral, political duty’. Evaluate this view.

‘In the topsy-turvy world of the play madness becomes sense, foolishness becomes wisdom ’. Evaluate this view by exploring the presentation of madness and foolishness in the play.

In ‘King Lear’ Shakespeare presents us with a world without justice’. Evaluate this view.

‘The play is a parable about the redemptive power of suffering.’ Evaluate this view by examining the presentation of suffering in ‘King Lear’

'Sons and daughters against fathers'. To what extent do you agree that the ‘essential conflict in the play is intergenerational?

‘A primary concern of the play is the contrasting attitudes of men and women to love’. By examining the presentation of love in ‘King Lear’ evaluate this view.

To what extent do you agree that ‘King Lear’ is a play about the ‘redemptive potential of suffering’?

'King Lear is above a play about power, property and inheritance.' By considering this view, to what extent do you agree that family controversy is a consequence of the struggle for power.

‘The play constantly questions ideas about authority and nobility’ To what extent do you agree?

‘The play’s dramatic impact arises from the overturning of the natural order.’ Explore this view by considering ways in which such an overturning of the order is presented in 'King Lear'.

 

 

 

 

 

May 20, 2015 at 7:06 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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