King Lear | Critical Essay by Stephen Booth

This literature criticism consists of approximately 20 pages of analysis & critique of King Lear.
This section contains 5,745 words
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SOURCE: Booth, Stephen. “On the Greatness of King Lear.” In William Shakespeare's King Lear, edited by Harold Bloom, pp. 57-70. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987.

In the following essay, originally published in 1983, Booth illustrates how the audience's original evaluations of the characters in King Lear are thrown into question by later events, a process that mirrors Lear's misjudgment of his daughters.

To make a work of art—to give local habitation and nameability to an airy nothing or a portion of physical substance—is to make an identity. I have argued that King Lear both is and is not an identity—that our sense that it inhabits only its own mental space is countered by a sense that it and those of its elements that I have discussed are unstable, turn into or fuse into other things. The...

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This section contains 5,745 words
(approx. 20 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Stephen Booth
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Literature Criticism Series
Critical Essay by Stephen Booth from Literature Criticism Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.