William Shakespeare | Critical Essay by Phoebe S. Spinrad

This literature criticism consists of approximately 15 pages of analysis & critique of William Shakespeare.
This section contains 4,376 words
(approx. 15 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Phoebe S. Spinrad

SOURCE: “Dramatic ‘Pity’ and the Death of Lear,” in Renascence, Vol. XLIII, No. 4, Summer 1991, pp. 231-40.

In this essay, Spinrad maintains that no formal dramatic theory or convention can adequately explain why the death of Lear is so profoundly moving. We weep, she suggests, because his death arouses our compassion: we feel that his suffering was undeserved.

Despite centuries of the keenest critical analysis, there has been no real consensus on whether the death of King Lear is cathartic in the classical sense, redemptive in the medieval sense, retributive in the Renaissance sense, or futile in the modern sense. Audiences in the theater, however, reach a fairly simple consensus: they cry. Indeed, many of us may have experienced this anomaly at a performance of Lear: if not crying ourselves, then at least...

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This section contains 4,376 words
(approx. 15 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Phoebe S. Spinrad