King Lear | Critical Essay by Jonathan Dollimore

This literature criticism consists of approximately 18 pages of analysis & critique of King Lear.
This section contains 5,280 words
(approx. 18 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Jonathan Dollimore

Critical Essay by Jonathan Dollimore

SOURCE: Dollimore, Jonathan. “King Lear and Essentialist Humanism.” In William Shakespeare's King Lear, edited by Harold Bloom, pp. 71-83. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987.

In the following essay, originally published in 1984, Dollimore argues against Christian and humanist interpretations of King Lear, noting that “the play concludes with two events [the deaths of Cordelia and Lear which sabotage the prospect of both closure and recuperation.”]

When he is on the heath King Lear is moved to pity. As unaccommodated man he feels what wretches feel. For the humanist the tragic paradox arises here: debasement gives rise to dignity and at the moment when Lear might be expected to be most brutalised he becomes most human. Through kindness and shared vulnerability humankind redeems itself in a universe where the gods are at best callously...

(read more)

This section contains 5,280 words
(approx. 18 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Jonathan Dollimore