'To Edmund, Goneril, Regan and Cornwall nature is a force encouraging the individual to think only of the fulfilment of their own desire'
'Under the fine clothes there is nothing but greed and lust'
'There is no supernatural justice - only human natural justice'
The world came out of nothing
'A play dramatising the meaning of the single word nature'
"The play destabilises our theological and moral assurances"
"For those who believe that divine justice somehow prevails in this world, King Lear ought to be offensive."
"A play in which the wicked prosper and the virtuous miscarry"-- it is debatable who the wicked and virtuous actually are
"Under his clothes, the King is equal to the beggar"
The play 'King Lear' is monstrously unjust
"of course, is the great secret of the successful fool - that he is no fool at all.'- In his Guide to Shakespeare
Suggested that drama had the ability, "by raising pity and fear, or terror, to purge the mind of those and such like passions" In his preface to Samson Agonistes (1671)
King Lear is representative of "not ancient Britain, but humanity, not England, but the World"
"The id's scream for indulgence and gratification alongside the superego's moral standards"
"human beings are entirely responsible for their own actions...the tragedy is absolute"- Humanist Critic
"the Gods are at best callously just...at worst sadistically vindictive"
Cordelia is "defined as a Christ-like figure, therefore her downfall is a direct representation of a God-less society"
Goneril and Regan are "personifications of ingratitude"
The daughters are "abstract symbols"
In Othello, Macbeth, Hamlet, the protaganist's downfall is entirely self-inflicted, and originates from their progressive fatal flaw. In King Lear, in the culminating scenes the King is very passive.
Drama was a "purging experience", by artificially stimulating the passions of an audience.
"If we regard the trial as a fabrication of a sane mind, we must admit that the play is founded on gross improbability"
Observed that Lear's dialogue speeches are often monologues disguised as dialogues. He is tuning fitfully in and out of life, engaged in a constant monologue and questioning of his identity.
See Edmund typifying the new bourgeois ethic of individual materialism- MARXIST
"One must be poor to be rich, a fool to be wise and blind to see"
'The endlessly recurring correspondence between microcosm and macrocosm, was the most significant of the symbols which proclaimed the order and unity of the world, for it proclaimed at the same time the special place which man occupied in the universal scheme'
"Mingling customs ancient and modern, English and foreign"
"one lives by ceremony...The other is born naked, subject to disease and pain...Lear is stripped"
"[The gouging of the eyes] restores the mood of despair and horror. There is something appalling about the thought of an author who will submit his characters and his audiences to such a test"
"The love [the king] seeks is not the sort that can be offered in formal or subservient expressions, and he therefore rejects the love of Cordelia and Kent"
"...there is a boundary that, once crossed, deprives a man of his full humanity."
The fool "breaks out of every category in which he might be fixed"
"power is the sole determining influence on the beliefs and values within any given culture."- NEW HISTORICIST
King Lear is "part of an intense and sustained struggle in late sixteenth- and early seven- teenth-century england to redefine the central values of society"- NEW HISTORICIST
Lear's main characteristic is "the disputing of 'common sense'"- POST STRUCTURALIST
A. W. Schlegel
"As terror in Macbeth reaches its utmost height, in King Lear the science of compassion is exhausted."