King Lear Literary Criticism

“All go to one…” “All go to one place, and all was of dust, and all shall return to the dust” – Ecclesiastes
“For in the multitude…” “For in the multitude of wisdom is much grief, he that increaseth knowledge, increaseth sorrow” – Ecclesiastes
Feminism in Lear: “Cordelia is…” “Cordelia is the Puritan goodwife” – Marilyn French
Feminism in Lear: “Shakespeare was…” “Shakespeare was sympathetic to women and the hardships/struggles they faced” – Marilyn French
Feminism in Lear: “King Lear is a paradigm…” “King Lear is a paradigm for the sexual politics of the tragic genre. Goneril and Regan are aligned with sexual insubordination and anarchy, not only this, but they are shown to delight in it too” – Kathleen McCluskie
Feminism in Lear: “There is a dichotomy of ‘good’…” “There is a dichotomy of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ characters based on gender” – Peter Rudnytsky
Feminism in Lear: “Women are treated…” “Women are treated as inferior, as coded by Renaissance culture” – Micheal Ryan
Gender Studies: “The play is an exploration of…” “The play is an exploration of the male anxiety” – Coppelia Kahn
Gender Studies: Michael Ryan: “Lear’s feminization produces a…” “Lear’s feminization produces a hysterical reaction coded in the play as madness” – Michael Ryan
Gender Studies: “He becomes woman as he abandons the…” “He becomes woman as he abandons the realm assigned to men in the play, and patriarchal society in general; principle, reason, and law. If women have been like men in the play, men are now like women” – Michael Ryan
Nature and Justice: “Goneril and Regan pursue…” “Goneril and Regan pursue a bestial, low form of justice in their brute craving for revenge” – Paul A Cantor
Nature and Justice: “The non-discriminatory cruelty…” “The non-discriminatory cruelty of nature is emblematic of the unjust social and political system” – Paul A Cantor
“Shakespeare makes no…” Shakespeare makes no just distribution of good and evil” – Dr Samuel Johnson
“Lear is a nihilistic play…” “Lear is a nihilistic play; it is based on the themes of the fall and decay of the world… and the world is not healed again” – Kott
“There is nothing except…” “There is nothing except the cruel earth where man goes on his journey from cradle to the grave” – Kott
“Regan has ideas of her own, her special…” “Regan has ideas of her own, her special vileness is always to increase the level of pain others are prepared to inflict; her mind itself is a lynch mob” – Stanley Cavell
“Encouraging others to see…” “Encouraging others to see life from a variety of perspectives is a part of the plays design” – Jeffery Cahan
“King Lear is the most…” “King Lear is the most brutal and disagreeable of Shakespeare’s plays” – Derek Peat
Jonas Barish: “Kent is the quintessence…” “Kent is the quintessence of a good servant” – Jonas Barish
“One must be poor to…” “One must be poor to be rich, blind to have vision, and a fool to be wise” – Hare
Lear And His Daughters: “Goneril and Regan have been…” “Goneril and Regan have been severely delegitimized by their father” – Charles Hanly
Language and Value: “Only when there is…” “Only when there is absolutely nothing, can there finally be something to exist” – Terry Eagleton