William Shakespeare | Critical Essay by Stephen Booth

This literature criticism consists of approximately 11 pages of analysis & critique of William Shakespeare.
This section contains 3,245 words
(approx. 11 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Stephen Booth

SOURCE: “The Promised End,” in King Lear, Macbeth, Indefinition, and Tragedy, pp. 5-11, Yale University Press, 1983.

In the excerpt below, Booth proposes that the ending of King Lear is terrifying because Shakespeare renders us powerless to call on any of the usual defenses by which we might avoid confronting it directly. Before Lear enters with Cordelia in his arms, the play has reached a formal conclusion, the critic points out, and, like the characters on stage, we have been so caught up in other events that we have forgotten about the King and his daughter. Unprepared for the narrative to continue—particularly in such a shocking fashion—we cannot set the ending apart, confine it, or comprehend it.

The tragedy of Lear, deservedly celebrated among the dramas of Shakespeare, is commonly regarded as his greatest achievement. I submit that...

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This section contains 3,245 words
(approx. 11 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Stephen Booth
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Literature Criticism Series
Critical Essay by Stephen Booth from Literature Criticism Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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