26 Sept. Division.

Featured Image: The Main Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms

Piktochart Sharing

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2. Choose “Public” if you haven’t already

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Write in response to the following prompt for five minutes without stopping. Keep your response on hand, because we will return to it at the end of class.
Given what you know about The History of King Lear so far, why are we reading this play in a class about the places and ideas (i.e. anthropocene, ecological thought, etc.) that come after “Nature”?

Part I. Background

Part II. Discussion

  • 1. Are the kingdoms already divided? If yes, so what? If no, so what?
  • 2. Why does Lear divide his kingdom? How does he decide which sister gets which portion of land?
  • 3. How much does Gonoril love her father? Does Regan improve Gonoril’s speech? Is it possible to love someone as much as they say they love their father? How much does Cordelia love her father?
  • 4. Does Cordellia take the contest for the biggest portion of the kingdom too seriously? Do you think she should have won the contest? Why doesn’t she?
  • 5. What are some consequences of Lear’s curse (1.100-12)?
  • 6. What does Kent mean when he says, “Think’st thou that duty shall have dread to speak/When power to flattery bows?” (1.136-7). Is Kent out of line? Does he misread and/or misspeak in court? Or, are his criticism warranted?
  • 7. Does Lear do Cordelia a favor by disowning her?
  • 8. What’s the gist of the sisters’ discussion at the close of the scene and after Lear has exited the stage? Does their conversation challenge or support your initial reaction to them? Why do you think Shakespeare bookends Scene 1 with two, informal, conversations adjacent to the throne room?

Part III. Review

Review your initial freewrite and then respond to the following:
By what right does Lear divide and dispense land? In other words, XX.

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