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Legitimacy vs illegitimacy
Terms in this set (10)
What does O'Toole say Edmund's role provides the audience with? What can you argue about capitalism here?
The idea of the "self-made man", in which we have no one else "but ourselves to blame for our sins" and no one else to thank for our good fortune. } One could argue capitalism allows for this Machiavellian thinking, as more opportunities.
What does J.H. Plumb say about power? How does the play undermine this?
Plumb says "There is no reality, but power, and power is the reward of ruthlessness, ferocity and cunning." Ultimately those who exhibit this thinking are as unsuccessful as the old order.
How does Lear subvert legitimacy/primogeniture?
Dividing the crown - this subversion of natural order is argued by some critics to initiate the storm + mental disorder in the play -> play about disorder? Or the play asserts the limitations of hierarchy (increased social awareness, Edmund's actions).
What does Lear's anagnorisis and loss of power show about legitimacy?
The relationship between hierarchy and power, not individuals: critics argue Lear's disrobing highlights his own humanity - away from pomp and clearly meaningless ritual in his society (Love Test typifies this).
Recalling O'Toole's quotation on Edmund as a self-made man, what historical context over C16th supports this notion?
The rise of the landed gentry, profiting off ex-monastic land and the decreased reliance of monarchs on historic aristocrats.
How is the idea of social injustice supported?
Vats population growth over C16th saw grain prices inflate by 400%, whilst wages at half the rate. Some poor laws introduced by Elizabeth but little to support highly agrarian society.
How does Edmund express the limitations of bastardy? What effect does crediting Edmund the soliloquies (+ adding parallel plot to source materials) and allowing Edmund an anagnorisis have?
"Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land". Audience have a more intimate connection with Edmund than G+R - he's more multi-faceted and hierarchy is attacked for forcing his hand - he was "beloved" (by G+R) yet dissatisfied.
How is Edgar presented in his fall from legitimacy?(p237-8)
Poor Tom highlights the proof of "Bedlam beggars" and man brought "near to beast". "Edgar I nothing am" - showing how his office has been removed as legitimate son due to manipulation of words by Edmund. Again has to fall from top of hierarchy to appreciate its deficiencies.
How is Edmund's opportunism presented? (p217)
"This weaves itself perforce into my business". Also on G+R: "each jealous of the other... neither can be enjoyed if both remain alive" ([5.1], pp361-2)
How is Edmund conflated with the devil?(p187 [1.2])
"Fa, sol, la mi" - moving across an augmented fourth = the 'diabolus in musica'
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