King Lear | Critical Essay by Douglas Burnham

This literature criticism consists of approximately 22 pages of analysis & critique of King Lear.
This section contains 6,441 words
(approx. 22 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Douglas Burnham

Critical Essay by Douglas Burnham

SOURCE: “King Lear, Narrating, and Surprise,” in Yearbook of English Studies, Vol. 30, 2000, pp. 21-33.

In the essay below, Burnham applies his theories on the nature of narrative to King Lear in order to explain the reason for Cordelia's death.

A Joke

On his first day of prison, a man joins a group of long-term prisoners talking in the mess. One of them says, ‘tell us a joke, somebody’. There is silence for a second, and then another prisoner says, ‘17!’. All of the long-term prisoners instantly burst out laughing. The new prisoner is confused by this, but pretends to laugh anyway. Suddenly, another prisoner calls out ‘29!’. This is greeted by floods of laughter.

The new prisoner turns to a short man in spectacles standing next to him and, discretely, asks why...

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This section contains 6,441 words
(approx. 22 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Douglas Burnham