THEA 80K Lecture 3: King Lear -THEA80K

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University of California - Santa Cruz
Theater Arts

King Lear Main Plot and Analysis Lear is over 80 years old, wants to maintain regal status while giving Regan and the Duke of Cornwall and Goneril and the Duke of Albany the kingdom to run Goneril and Regan claim that they love Lear more than anything, Lear rewards them with a part of the kingdom Cordelia, the youngest daughter and Lears favorite, refuses to say that she loves Lear more than anything, Lear disowns her her logic: how do Goneril and Regan even have husbands if all there love is occupied by their father? Cordelias moment of truth, or her not realizing shes making an error because shes used to being Lears favorite and having him dote on her? Cordelia humiliates Lear by refusing to suck up to him like Regan and Goneril just did She is new adopted to our hate Duke of Kent defends Cordelia, is exiled from the kingdom Kent disguises himself as a servant, asks to serve Lear You have that in your face which I would fain call masterauthority On the same day that Lear separates the kingdom, Cordelia is to choose a husband Lear refuses to give a dowry along with Cordelia made her worth nothing Burgundy demands the dowry, Lear refuses, Burgundy refuses to marry Cordelia France She is herself a dowry takes her as queen of France Regan and Goneril at the end of Act 1 Scene 1 Lear is losing it Some directors interpret this as the beginning of dementia Lear is left with his 2 older daughters, becomes a sojourner makes himself completely vulnerable Political drama all protagonists come from a political background, become at odds with the community that they come from Historical context: The Regent is the head of everything, they embody the spirit of God Shakespeare was suggesting that inside the body of a king is a mere man After Regan and Goneril take power they stop treating Lear like a king and start treating him like an old man Lear resents this Before they had agreed that Lear would keep his crown, his title, and 100 knights travels the country with his knights Goneril tells Lear that his knights are rowdy tells him that having them isnt necessary Lear begins to see the foolishness of what hes done Lear has his fool, and Kent disguised as Caius to deal with his misery 1
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