RQ: Hist KL, Scenes 14-19


Keep the following questions in mind as you read King Lear Scenes 14-19. The questions are designed to guide your reading practices and our class discussions. You are not required to provide formal answers in class or online.

Scene 14

Why do Regan and Cornwall blind Gloucester?

Are Regan and Cornwall’s “revenges” (14.5) against Gloucester justified, why or why not?

How does Regan and Cornwall’s interrogation of Gloucester compare with the ‘mock trial’ scene that precedes it? What happens to the rest of the play if the mock trial scene is left out?

Scene 15

Why can’t Gloucester recognize his own son?

Contemporary environmental discourse is often carried on by people who don’t live and work with animals or complex ecosystems. Is Edgar part of this tradition? OR, what might an actual wandering, wildman have to contribute to conversations about environmental justice?

Scene 16

How does Albany react to the news that French forces have landed in France, according to Oswald?

What does gift does Gonoril joke she’ll give her husband (16.17-18); what gift does she give Edmund?

What accounts for Albany’s change of attitude toward his wife? Describe some of the criticisms he levels at her. How does Gonoril respond? Which character is most persuasive and why?

What makes humans into monsters according to Albany, or, perhaps, according to the play?

How does Cornwall die?

Scene 17

How does the [First] Gentleman describe Cordelia?

Who, or what, governs our fate according to Kent (17.33-36) How does his point of view on fate/nature square with his trajectory in the play?

Why does Lear refuse to meet with Cordelia according to Kent?

Scene 18

How does Cordelia describe Lear at the beginning of the scene?

What course of treatment does the Doctor prescribe for Lear?

Scene 19

What does Regan want Oswald to do and why won’t he do it?

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