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King Lear

King Lear

  

by William Shakespeare

King Lear Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Vision and Blindness

We're just going to put this out there right now: any play/novel/story of some sort that features a character getting blinded is also probably saying something about metaphorical blindness. Like al...

Lear's Crown

Typically, monarchs wear gleaming crowns atop their heads for one reason—because crowns are a visual symbol of power. In King Lear, Shakespeare often associates crowns with a loss of power and th...

Diseased Bodies

There sure are a lot of references to sick bodies and diseased body parts in King Lear, wouldn't you say? It's like a David Cronenberg movie up in here.We're especially interested in the way Lear t...

The Storm on the Heath

In Act 3, Lear rushes from a fight with his daughters into a raging thunderstorm. It's going to be no surprise to you to hear that the combination of thunder and lightning is pretty much what's goi...

Nothingness

Shakespeare plays on the word "nothing" and the idea of nothingness or emptiness throughout King Lear. (Psst: that's one of the reasons this play is so insanely bleak.)Here are a few significant mo...

Nakedness vs. Clothing

When Edgar disguises himself as "Poor Tom," he chooses to disguise himself as a naked beggar. Then, in the big storm scene, Lear strips off his kingly robes. Why might he do this, you ask? Is he ju...

Animals

The play makes many references to animals, from Lear's comparison of Goneril to a "detested kite" (1.4.274)—which is not just a child's toy but also a bird of prey—to Albany's comparison of hum...

Old Men and Babies

There sure is a lot of talk in the play about old men being like "babes again" (1.3.20), isn't there? And they're not talking about being sexy. Check out this passage, where Lear announces his deci...

The Feather

After Cordelia is hanged, Lear initially seems to accept his loss, as insanely hard as it is. "I know when one is dead," he proclaims. "She's dead as earth" (5.3.312-313). Yet, a few moments l...

Edmund's Letter

We thought you might come sniffing around here for ideas about Edmund's forged letter. (Psst. We talk about it in "Quotes" on "Language and Communication" so be sure to check it out.)

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