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Critical Essay | An excellent thing in woman: Virgo and
Viragos in King Lear

This literature criticism consists of approximately 22 pages of analysis & critique of An excellent thing in woman: Virgo and Viragos in King Lear.
This section contains 6,550 words
(approx. 22 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our An excellent thing in woman: Virgo and Viragos in King Lear - An excellent thing in woman: Virgo and Viragos in King Lear

Catherine S. Cox, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

Throughout King Lear, conventional interpretations of gender identity are challenged by ambiguously constructed female characters. The three women inhabiting Lear's world—his daughters Cordelia, Goneril, and Regan—supply the text with culturally and theoretically profound treatments of gender issues. The daughter figures, especially Cordelia, exhibit characteristics germane to Renaissance appropriations of early Christian and medieval (anti) feminist commonplaces, with the distinction between valorization and denigration rendered ambiguous by the subtle incorporation of competing motifs. I shall explicate the polysemous gender constructions of the daughters in King Lear in connection with literary and theological traditions in order to demonstrate that the play's ultimate sense of restoration and order is both contingent upon and betrayed by its rejection of "unnatural" gender.

Goneril and Regan, the...

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This section contains 6,550 words
(approx. 22 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our An excellent thing in woman: Virgo and Viragos in King Lear - An excellent thing in woman: Virgo and Viragos in King Lear
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