Engl 105B Week 1

  • Global rating average: 0.0 out of 5
  • 0.0
  • 0.0
  • 0.0
  • 0.0
  • 0.0
17 Cards. Created by Surna Khayat ().
Shakespeare intro, King Lear

King Lear’s Medieval Source

Geoffrey of Monmouth, History of the Kings of Britain, c. 1136

The Ancient/medieval Lear/Leir

• thought to date back to pre-Roman Britain, perhaps 8th c. BCE

• Pagan king

• member of the line of Brutus – thought to be Britain’s Trojan “father”


• oldest child inherits everything

Petrarch (Italian)

creates the sonnet 14th c

• all addressed to Laura

2 forms of honesty

Bluntness and riddles

• Cordelia comes off cold, uninterested, rational

• fools in court had the responsibility to tell the truth to the king, but has to be indirect/polite)

3 imp. Themes of King Lear

• nothing

• blind/sight

• nature

pathetic fallacy

• idea that nature has emotions and that nature mirrors the emotions of the main character • pathetic- greek root, pathos, feeling

• Prose vs. Verse

o Prose (lines go to end of page, end in same place)

o Verse (lines end where the line of verse ends)

• Genres

o Tragedy

o Comedy (“Problem” comedy/”problem play”)

o History

o Romance

• a few examples of medieval/ancient sources Shakespeare uses

o Giovanni Boccaccio (14th c. Italian writer) o Raphael Holinshed (16th c. English chronicler) o Plutarch (1st c. Greek historian and philosopher)


• sang songs of love, hyperbolic language, flattery, exaggerations

• often directed at a beloved who is unaccessible/unattainable • 14 lines • 14th c., moves to England mid-16th c.


iambic pentameter (5 feet composed of “iams” – 2 syllables, stressed/unstressed) – mimics human heartbeat

Identify speaker: “See better, Lear, and let me still remain the true blank of thine eye”


• Sydney’s Arcadia

mirrors Gloucester’s plot closely, 2 sons, one legitimate one illegitimate, tricks the other, written about 40 years before Shakespeare

Identify speaker: “Thou, Nature, art my goddess. To thy law my services are bound.”


Identify speaker: "The weight of this sad time we must obey; speak what we feel, not what we ought to say. The oldest hath borne most; we that are young shall never see so much, nor live so long."


Identify speaker: "Had you not been their father, these white flakes had challenged pity of them. Was this a face to be opposed against the warring winds?"