Friday, April 22, 2011

King Lear: What's the Point?

Like all great works of literature, King Lear exists not to provide answers, but rather to ask questions . . .

Respect: How should we show it? What happens if we don't have it? How far should we go to get it?
Loyalty: To whom should we be loyal? How should we show it? What should be its limits?
Power: What are the best means of achieving/keeping/demonstrating it?
Justice: What is a "just" outcome? How can we best reach that ideal? When should we settle for something less? When does justice become revenge?
Death: Does death negate life's achievements?
Truth: What is truth? How can we know it? When is deception justified?

Your homework for Monday is to write two body paragraphs:

1st paragraph: critique one character as representative of a specific position or persona. (For example, critique Lear as king, as father, as friend, and so on).
2nd paragraph: critique on mistake that character makes. Explain why that decision is a mistake, and explain why he or she makes that mistake.