King Lear | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by Jerald W. Spotswood

This literature criticism consists of approximately 21 pages of analysis & critique of King Lear.
This section contains 6,269 words
(approx. 21 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Jerald W. Spotswood

Critical Essay by Jerald W. Spotswood

SOURCE: “Maintaining Hierarchy in The Tragedie of King Lear,” in Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, Vol. 38, No. 2, Spring, 1998, pp. 265-80.

In the essay below, Spotswood challenges critical interpretations which maintain that the play represents a challenge to social structure, arguing that King Lear upholds class boundaries.

In tracing the theater's role in eliciting social change in early modern England, many recent critics have focused upon King Lear as a central text, citing the breakdown of authority and service within the play as evidence of its subversive force. For John Turner, Lear portrays a world that “collapses beyond repair,” and presents a prehistory in which authority and service “melt mystifyingly into one another.”1 Even Stephen Greenblatt, a forceful proponent of the subversion-containment model, concedes that Lear is Shakespeare&#x...

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This section contains 6,269 words
(approx. 21 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Jerald W. Spotswood