King Lear | Critical Essay by Howard Felperin

This literature criticism consists of approximately 23 pages of analysis & critique of King Lear.
This section contains 6,628 words
(approx. 23 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Howard Felperin

Critical Essay by Howard Felperin

SOURCE: Felperin, Howard. “Plays within Plays: Othello, King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra.” In Shakespearean Representation: Mimesis and Modernity in Elizabethan Tragedy, pp. 68-117. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1977.

In the following excerpt, Felperin suggests that Shakespeare's King Lear defies both simple moral and absurdist readings—the two principal modes of mid-twentieth century critical interpretation of the drama.

The ways in which a play's central interpretive problem arises from specific changes Shakespeare has wrought on his traditional models are particularly clear and traceable in the case of King Lear. At least as early as Samuel Johnson's pained observations on the ending of the play, interpretation has concerned itself with what to make of Shakespeare's alteration of the traditional story of Lear and Cordelia away from poetic justice and toward unprecedented suffering. As everyone knows, all...

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This section contains 6,628 words
(approx. 23 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Howard Felperin