A level English Mind Map on KING LEAR, created by Felicity Baines on 05/14/2013.
Felicity Baines
Mind Map by Felicity Baines, updated more than 1 year ago
Felicity Baines
Created by Felicity Baines over 9 years ago

Resource summary

    1. 'I cannot heave / My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty / According to my bond; no more, no less'
      1. 'The art of our necessities is strange, / That can make vile things precious'
        1. 'Filth savour by themselves / Humanity must perforce prey on itself / Like monsters in the deep'
          1. 'Yet Edmund was beloved'
            1. 'I love you more than word can weild the matter... no less than life'
              1. ‘Goneril participates in the ceremony brilliantly… Lear is calling more for ‘word’ than ‘matter’… Regan can only echo Goneril and Cordelia commits herself to matter rather than to words… to a plain rhetoric of concrete enumeration, rather than to ceremonial rhetoric of comparatives and superlative’ – Richard Strier
            2. JUSTICE
              1. ‘I am a man / More sinned against than sinning’
                1. ‘there is infact a poetic justice in King Lear… evil is destroyed’ – C.L. Sissil
                2. ‘And worse I may be yet; the worst is not / So long as we can say ‘this is the worst!’
                  1. Cordelia’s death ‘violates our expectations’
                  2. ‘I’ll bear / Affliction till it do cry out itself’
                    1. ‘Thou shalt not die; / die for adultery! / Lot copulation thrive’
                      1. ‘we sympathise with Edmund’s sense of injustice’ – Susan Bruce
                      2. ‘I am bound / Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears / Do scald like molten lead’
                        1. ‘He [the Fool] rejects all appearances, of law, justice, moral order. He sees brute force, cruelty and lust. He has no illusions and does not seek consolation in the existence of natural or supernatural order, which provides the punishment of evil and the reward of good’ – Jan Knott
                        2. ‘The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices / Make instruments to plague us: / The dark and vicious place where you he got / Cost him his eyes’
                          1. ‘Shakespeare gives us a play in which no justice is possible in the world as it is, in which there is so much injustice that the world may be about to end’ – Fintan O’Toole
                            1. ‘the principle characters’ in the play being ‘not those who act, but those who suffer’ – August Wilhelm Schlegel
                            2. ‘The wheel is come full circle; I am here’
                              1. The Royal Shakespeare company showed the prayers on stage being acted out for the final seconds with them kneeling and holding their arms in the air for a short period of time. This make Lear’s carrying of the dead Cordelia more profound.
                              2. ‘This judgement of the heavens, that makes us tremble, / Touches us not with pity’
                                1. ‘the Gods are conspicuous in their absence’ – Alexander Leggatt
                                  1. Cordelia’s death is ‘a solemnity in the mystery we cannot fathom’ – A.C. Bradley
                                  2. ‘The gods defend her!’
                                    1. ‘Not about suffering, purgation, spiritual development’ – John Dullmore
                                    2. ‘He hates him / That would upon the rack of this tough world / Stretch him out longer’
                                      1. ‘Like Lear, Gloucester has to undergo intense suffering before he can identify with the deprived… the limitation of a society that depends on empathy alone for its justice’ – Jonathan Dollimore
                                      2. ‘The gods... have preserved thee’
                                        1. ‘it’s no surprise that in this play Shakespeare doesn’t define exactly who the god or gods really are’ – Trevor Nunn
                                      3. COMPASSION / RECONSILIATION
                                        1. ‘No cause, no cause’
                                          1. ‘So young and so untender!’ ‘So young my Lord, and true.’
                                            1. ‘here I stand your slave / A poor, infirm, weak and despised old man’
                                              1. This line offers ‘utter affirmation that there is neither acceptance that humanity is corrupt and destructive’ – Alexander Leggatt
                                              2. ‘I have one part in my heart that’s sorry yet for thee’
                                                1. ‘The world remains that is was, a merciless, heartbreaking world. Lear is broken by it but he is learned to love and be loved’ – Walter Stein.
                                                2. ‘My tears begin to take his part so much / They’ll mar my counterfeiting’
                                                  1. ‘Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia, / The gods themselves throw incense’
                                                    1. ‘his flawed heart / Alack! Too weak for the conflict to support; / Twixt two extremes of passion, joy and grief, / Burst smilingly’
                                                      1. ‘The weight of this sad time we must obey / Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say’
                                                        1. Lear, ‘feels compassion, acknowledges his own failures, and lessens himself in terms of divine justice; like Gloucester, he has come to a new insight’ – Robert Bechtold Heilman.
                                                          1. Nahum Tate changed the ending as it was too pessimistic, perhaps because there was no reconciliation.
                                                          2. Cordelia calls on ‘unpublish virtues of the earth’ to restore Lear
                                                            1. ‘It has no moral lesson, its ending is patently not inevitable and even if Lear had a tragic flaw, his suffering is so much out of proportion to his flaw that it is patently absurd to suggest that he has merely brought it on himself’ – Fintan O’Toole
                                                              1. ‘pyrrhic victory over evil’ - Kiernan Ryan
                                                            2. THE NATURAL ORDER
                                                              1. ‘Nothing will come of nothing’
                                                                1. ‘we shall retain / The name and all th’additon to a king’
                                                                  1. ‘Edmund rages here against the aristocratic law of primogeniture’ – Susan Bruce
                                                                  2. ‘She is herself a dowry’
                                                                    1. ‘Who still would manage those authorities / That he hath given away. Now by my life’
                                                                      1. ‘All other titles thou hast given away’
                                                                        1. ‘Lear breaks the bond of family and in doing he unleashes a breakdown in the basic categories of father and daughter, parent and child, man and woman’ – Fintan O’Toole
                                                                        2. ‘Thou hast pared thy wit o’ both sides and left nothing i’ the middle’
                                                                          1. ‘The younger rises when the old doth fall’
                                                                            1. ‘To be worst, / The lowest and most dejected thing of fortune / Stands still in esperance, lives not in fear’
                                                                              1. ‘Kent’s rudeness is chosen, under pressure, as a moral stance’ – Richard Strier
                                                                                1. Edmund shows ‘a perfect summation of the new individualism, the new determinism bound by the rule of custom which Edmund sees as a ‘plague’ and on which Cordelia bases her whole sense of herself, as a subject, a daughter and a wife’ – Fintan O’Toole
                                                                                2. ‘Our means secure us, and our mere defects’
                                                                                  1. Edmund ‘appeals to a meritocratic ideal. He maintains he is as worthy in himself as anyone born into privilege and that rewards should not follow the structure of deeply hierarchical society order, but go instead to those who merit them’ – Susan Bruce
                                                                                  2. ‘The stars above us govern our conditions’
                                                                                    1. ‘In this parochial world, masculine identity depends on repressing the vulnerability, dependency and capacity for feeling which are called ‘feminine’.’ - Coppélia Kahn
                                                                                    2. ‘So horrid as in woman’
                                                                                      1. ‘There’s hell, there’s darkness, there is the sulphurous pit!’
                                                                                        1. ‘Let me wipe it first, it smells of mortality’
                                                                                          1. ‘If there were two opposing views of the world that are tearing the universe apart, it is in King Lear’ – Fintan O’Toole
                                                                                            1. ‘The disadvantages suffered by bastard who survives as object lessons were similar to those endured by women’ – Alison Findlay
                                                                                            2. ‘unaccommodated man is no more than a forked animal’
                                                                                              1. ‘battle between order and power, between feudal system and individual will’ – Fintan O’Toole
                                                                                              2. ‘A credulous father of a bother noble, whom nature is farm from doing harm’
                                                                                                1. Cordelia sows ‘the seeds of her own destruction in her foolish refusal to play the game. But the fact is that Cordelia cannot join in the game if inflated language, for the very terms of that language, the whole notion of a comparison of things, is out of her way of thinking’ – Fintan O’Toole
                                                                                                2. ‘Edmund the base shall top the legitimate’
                                                                                                  1. ‘Bastards are evil in Renaissance drama, because, being on the margins of the aristocracy, half connected with it, half a product of another world, they have a clear motive to contest the dominant (or ‘hegemonic’) ideology, which defends a particular, aristocratic, mode of property inheritance’
                                                                                                  2. ‘legitimate Edgar I shall have your land’
                                                                                                    1. ‘a play about power, property and inheritance… the awful truth that these two things [power and property] are somehow prior to the laws of human kindness and not vice-versa’ – Jonathan Dollimore
                                                                                                    2. ‘who in the lusty stealth of nature take / More composition and fierce quality / Than doth within a dull stale bed’
                                                                                                      1. ‘Goneril and Regan are mouthpieces for duty’ – Richard Strier
                                                                                                        1. ‘The disadvantages suffered by bastard who survives as object lessons were similar to those endured by women’ – Alison Findlay
                                                                                                        2. ‘let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit’
                                                                                                          1. Edmund is ‘a blunt moralist, ruthlessly exposing the vices and follies of mankind’ and yet ‘He participates in the viciousness and self-seeking of the world he rails against’ – David Gunby
                                                                                                        3. NATURE
                                                                                                          1. ‘Thou nature, art my goddess’
                                                                                                            1. ‘what is most striking about his Lear [Ian McKellen’s], is its pilgrim’s progress, is its curiosity. McKellen’s Lear is a man who is always asking questions. The big conundrum, which he delivers with racking slowness, is: ‘Is there any cause in nature that makes these hard hearts?’ And it is his uncertainty as to the answer that touches one’s own heart… By the end, you feel this is a Lear who has somehow undergone a religious moral education.’ – Michael Billington.
                                                                                                            2. ‘Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!’
                                                                                                              1. ‘those who have survived – Edgar, Albany and Kent – are, as Lear has been, just ruin’d pieces of nature’ – Jon Knott
                                                                                                              2. ‘Crack Nature’s moulds, all germans spill at once, / That makes ungrateful man’
                                                                                                                1. ‘Edmund may appeal to nature as a goddess who will liberate him from the restraints and custom and or the moral order’ – Robert E. Fitch
                                                                                                                2. ‘The tempest in my mind / Doth my senses take all feeling else / Save what beats there’
                                                                                                                  1. ‘First Edmund invokes nature as his goddess, a goddess who despises such human, such contrivances as primogeniture’ – Frank Kermode
                                                                                                                  2. ‘the king falls from the bias of nature’
                                                                                                                    1. ‘We make guilty o four disasters the sun, the moon, the stars: villains, fools, knaves, thieves, adulterers, drunkards, liars by ‘spherical predominance’... enforced obedience of planetary influence... ‘heavenly compulsion’
                                                                                                                      1. This theme recurs ‘again and again with every shade of meaning and misunderstanding’
                                                                                                                      2. ‘Divisions in state, unnaturalness between child and parent’
                                                                                                                        1. ‘pitiless storm’
                                                                                                                          1. ‘the gods reward your kindness’
                                                                                                                            1. ‘the animal imagery in King Lear is always used in derogatory terms to indicate the unnaturalness of the characters behaviour in comparison to how they should behave’ – Sarah Doncaster
                                                                                                                            2. ‘what breeds about her heart. Is there any cause in nature that makes these hard hearts’
                                                                                                                              1. ‘As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods / They kill us for their sport’
                                                                                                                                1. ‘wolfish visage’
                                                                                                                                  1. ‘The theme of King Lear is the decay and fall of the world’ – Jan Knott
                                                                                                                                  2. ‘tigers not daughters’
                                                                                                                                    1. Lear finds that his ‘frame of nature’ has been wretched ‘from the fixed place’
                                                                                                                                      1. ‘a wretch whom nature is ashamed’
                                                                                                                                      2. BLINDNESS
                                                                                                                                        1. ‘All that follow their noses are led by their eyes but blind men’
                                                                                                                                          1. ‘I have no way, and therefore want no eyes’
                                                                                                                                            1. ‘What, art mad? A man may see how the world goes with no eyes. Look with thine ears’
                                                                                                                                              1. ‘Get thee glass eyes / And, like a scurvy politician, seem / To see things thou dost not’
                                                                                                                                                1. 47 references to eyes in the play
                                                                                                                                                2. ‘Out of my sight!’ ‘See better Lear’
                                                                                                                                                  1. ‘O fond eyes / Beweep this cause again, I’ll pluck you out’
                                                                                                                                                    1. All is ‘dark and comfortless’
                                                                                                                                                    2. ‘Pluck out his poor old eyes’
                                                                                                                                                      1. ‘Out, vile jelly... let him smell / His way to Dover’
                                                                                                                                                        1. ‘Lear, blinded by his obsession with the quantity of things, decides it must be nothing’ – Fintan O’Toole
                                                                                                                                                        2. ‘I remember thine eyes well enough’
                                                                                                                                                          1. ‘The dark and vicious place where they got / Cost him his eyes’
                                                                                                                                                            1. ‘the youngest daughter does not love thee least’
                                                                                                                                                              1. ‘dost thou call me a fool boy?’ ‘All thy other titles thou has given away’
                                                                                                                                                                1. ‘Look with thy ears’
                                                                                                                                                                  1. ‘darker purpose’
                                                                                                                                                                    1. ‘the truth, blank of thine eye’
                                                                                                                                                                      1. Some Elizabethans thought that blinding was a good punishment for some crimes.
                                                                                                                                                                      2. ‘out of my sight’
                                                                                                                                                                        1. ‘Tis the times plague when madmen lead the blind’
                                                                                                                                                                        2. PARENT / CHILD RELATIONSHIPS
                                                                                                                                                                          1. ‘In gratitude, thou marble-hearted fiend, / More hideous when thou show’st thee in a child / Than the sea monster’
                                                                                                                                                                            1. ‘Create her child of spleen, that it may live / And be a thwart disnatur’d torment to her... that she may feel / How sharper than the serpent’s tooth it is / To have a thankless child!’
                                                                                                                                                                              1. ‘I pray thee, daughter, do not make me mad’
                                                                                                                                                                                1. ‘But I shall see / The winged vengeance overtake such children’
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. The opening of the play uses ‘the voice of a man who is used to having his own words create reality’ – Alexander Leggatt
                                                                                                                                                                                  2. ‘Which one of you shall we say doth love us most?’
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. ‘I have often blushed to acknowledge him’
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. The play shows ‘the failure of a father’s power to command the love in a patriarchal world and the emotional penalty he pays for wielding power – Coppélia Kahn
                                                                                                                                                                                      2. ‘there was good sport at his making and the whoreson must be acknowledged.’
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. ‘Here I disclaim my paternal care’
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. ‘her price has fallen’
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. ‘Better thou / Had’st not been born than not to have pleased me better’
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. ‘he always loved our sister most’
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. ‘Why bastard? Wherefore base? / When my dimensions are as well compact, / My mind as generous, and my shape as true / As honest madam’s issue? / Why brand they us / With base? With baseness? bastardy? base, base?’
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Of the modern 2012 version by Michael Attenborough featuring subtle hints at sexual abuse of Goneril and Regan produced a Lear that ‘one understands rather than sympathises with’ - Michael Billington
                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. ‘there’s son against father: the king falls from the bias of nature; there’s father against child’
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. ‘If Lear is intemperate and rash, Gloucester is gullible and obtuse in his dealings with his sons’ – Jay L. Halio
                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. ‘Divisions in state, unnaturalness between child and parent’
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. ‘Gloucester apparently does not know either of his sons very well, and the bond between them could not be easily taken in. But it is also the victim of an anxiety that will not let him rest in uncertainty’ – Jay L. Halio
                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. ‘Into her womb convey sterility!’
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. ‘You heaven – if it be you that stir these daughters’ hearts’
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. ‘No, you unnatural hags, / I will have such revenges on you both / That all the world shall – I will do such things – / What they are, I know not – but they shall be / The terrors of the earth... No, I’ll not weep’
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. ‘How dost my boy?’
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. ‘When we our betters see bearing our woes / We scarcely think our miseries foes. / he childed as I father’d’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. ‘I gave you all, made you my guardian’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. ‘I did her wrong’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. ‘in my corrupted blood’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. ‘a disease that’s in my flesh’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. ‘the younger rises when the old doth fall’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. ‘Thou hast power to shake my manhood’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. CLOTHING / NAKEDNESS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. ‘Poor naked wretches, whereso’er you are, / That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. ‘Let’s not the creaking of shoes nor the rusting of the silks betray thy poor heart to woman’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. ‘You, sir – I entertain you for one of my hundred; only I do not like the fashion of your garments’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. ‘And bring some covering for this naked soul’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. ‘Robes and furr’d gowns hide all’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. ‘Is man no more than this? Consider him well. Thou owest the worm no silk, the beast no hid, the sheep no wool, the cat no perfume... thou art the thing itself; unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, forked animal as thou art. Off, off you lendings! Come, unbutton here’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. BETRAYAL
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. ‘In palaces, treason; and the bond crack’d ‘twist son and father’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. ‘Machinations, hollowness, treachery, and all ruinous disorders follow us disquietly to our graves’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. ‘The whole character [Edmund], its carless, light-hearted villainy, contrasted with the sullen, rancorous malignity of Regan and Goneril’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. ‘If it be you that stirs these daughters’ hearts / Against their fathers, fool me not so much / To bear it tamely’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. ‘Of Gloucester’s treachery / And of the loyal service of his son’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. ‘Edmund, I arrest tee / On capital treason; and, in thine attaint / This gilded serpent’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. ‘If none appear to prove upon thy person / Thy heinous, manifest and many treasons’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. MADNESS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. ‘O, let not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven! Keep me in temper; I would not be mad!’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. ‘Lear’s death resists analysis resists language’ – Alexander Leggatt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. ‘There is no scene which does not contribute to the aggravation of the distress of conduct of the action, and scarce a line which does no conduce to the progress of the scene’ – Samuel Johnson
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. ‘I prithee, daughter, do not make me mad’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. ‘O fool, I shall go mad’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. ‘Enter Edgar disguised as a madman’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. ‘Thou say’st the King grows mad: I’ll tell thee, friend, / I am almost mad myself’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. ‘Lear’s mind, like the play itself is constantly on the move, in a dynamic pattern of advance and retreat, surrender and resistance’ – Alexander Leggatt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. ‘Tis the time’s plague when madmen lead the blind’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. ‘identity is socially constructed’ – Alexander Leggatt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. The storm scene is ‘part of the tormented consciousness of Lear’ and is pathetic fallacy and projection of his madness.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. ‘O, matter and impertinency mix’d! / Reason, in madness’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. ‘You see how full of change his age is; the observation we have made of it hath not been little’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. ‘Lear simply refuses to believe what his eyes, and ours, see all too plainly’ – Alexander Leggatt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Play is a ‘series of colliding images’ – Alexander Leggatt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. ‘Tis the infirmity of his age; yet he hath ever but slenderly known himself’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. ‘Idle old man / Who still would manage those authorities / That he hath given away. Now by my life / Old fools are become babes again’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. ‘the Fool does not desert his ridiculous degraded king, but follows him into madness. The Fool knows that the only true madness is to regard this world as rational’ – Jan Kott
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. ‘Who is it that can tell me who I am?’ ‘Lear’s shadow’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. ‘even his most positive insight as the play’s ultimate statements’ – S.L. Goldburg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. ‘Thou shouldst not have been old before thou hadst been wise’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. ‘It is the slow oily politeness of Goneril that drives him frantic’ – Alexander Leggatt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. ‘Sir, you are old... You should be ruled and lead’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. ‘My wits begin to turn’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. ‘O! Matter and impertinency mixed! Reason in madness!’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Gloucester’s story paralleling Lear’s, ‘we realise that the blind man saw the truth after all’ – Alexander Leggatt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Jacobean’s and Elizabethan’s visited Bedlam as entertainment so Shakespeare could have added Edgar’s feigned madness as comic relief from the truly mad Lear.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. ‘I fear I am not in my perfect mind’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. ‘in ill thoughts again’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. ‘the grief hath crazed my wits’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. He ‘relates the storm to his own plight’ – Alexander Leggatt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. ‘There’s a tempest in my mind’
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