3 Oct. Into Nature.

Part I: Claim/Thesis

Take 5 mins and respond to the following:

  • 1. What are some characteristics of a successful claim or thesis?
  • 2. What makes a claim or thesis “arguable”?
  • 3. Quickly review the claim/thesis you drafted at the end of class on Thursday. Is it arguable, why or why not?

Magic (Arguable) Thesis

Even though it seems as if ___________________________  is _______________________because of ______________________, I’ll argue___________________________.

Part II: Discussion

  • 1. Describe Kent’s treatment of Oswald. What is your assessment of Kent’s treatment of Oswald and of Cornwall’s treatment of Kent? Is Kent justified? Is Cornnwall?
  • Keep the following in mind as we watch half of Scene 7, from the Trever Nunn and Ian McKellen RSC filmed version of King Lear (2008-9)
  • 2. How does Edgar “preserve” (7.172) himself after he flees his father’s house in Scene 7
  • 3. How does Lear react to Kent’s punishment?
  • 4.Why don’t Cornwall and Regan allow Lear and his train into Gloucester’s castle? Is their decision justified?
  • 5.Does Lear cause the storm at that begins at the close of Scene 7? OR, what is the relationship between the storm and the way Lear’s daughters treat him?

Part III: Quiz

Please clear your desk and then complete the following:
I’ll pass around the quizzes and then you will have the remainder of the class to complete them. All the questions are short answer. Your answers do not need to be in complete sentences, and you do not need to include direct citations from the text for full credit. Bring your completed quiz up to me when you are finished, and then you may leave.

RQ: Hist KL, Scenes 8-13


Keep the following questions in mind as you read King Lear Scenes 8-13. 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 8

Does Lear cause the storm, or vice versa? What is the relationship between the storm and Lear’s “woman’s weapons” (7.435)?

Why does Shakespeare give audiences a report of Lear in the storm before we see him out on the heath?

What secret does Kent tell the First Gentleman in Scene 8? What surety of his story does Kent offer the First Gentleman?

Scene 9 

If you were staging Lear, how would you portrait the “Storm” in Scene 9? Why?

Whom does Lear address in the opening lines of Scene 9?

Is the storm magical? For instance, how is it possible, in Lear’s assessment, for the storm to “Find out their enemies now” (9.51)?

Compare the power Lear attributes to the storm in 9.50-60, i.e. the storm can discover who all the villains are even if they are wearing disguises, to 11.25-33.

Does the storm transform Lear, from a seemingly unsympathetic man to a deeply sympathetic one, OR,  is he another counterfeit exposed? Could you even, ever tell the difference between the two? If not, so what?

Do you agree that Lear is “More sinned against than sinning” (9.60)?

What ideas or emotions does the storm convey to stage and theater audience, as well as readers, that words cannot (11.6-20)?

Scene 11

What motivates Lear’s pity for Tom? Is Lear sincere? How can you tell and so what? Also, does it matter that Tom is really Edgar, disguised nobleman?

When Edgar describes Tom’s life before the hovel, is he telling the truth? If yes, assess his character. For instance, are you surprised he chose to take on the costume of a beggar?

If you were directing this play, would you have Lear take off all his clothes at “Unaccomodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, forked animal as thou art. Off, off, you lendings! Come on, be true” (11.96-99)? Why or why not? AND, can an actor really ever be naked on stage?

Where, or even how, do you think Edgar learned to curse?

What does Poor Tom eat? For what does his diet qualify him?

What, as Lear asks, is the “cause of the thunder” (11.139)?

Scene 13 

Where are they in Scene 13?

Is Lear’s condemnation of his daughters in the mock trial justified? What does he see when he anatomizes Regan?

Why does Tom/Edgar taxonomize all those dogs even as he disperses them?

Does Lear’s madness come from inside or outside?