King Lear | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by R. S. White

This literature criticism consists of approximately 49 pages of analysis & critique of King Lear.
This section contains 14,591 words
(approx. 49 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by R. S. White

SOURCE: "Shakespeare's The History of King Lear," in Natural Law in English Renaissance Literature, Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp. 185-215.

In the following excerpt, White interprets King Lear as Shakespeare 's most powerful demonstration of the struggle between Natural and worldly law.

In [many of] the plays by Shakespeare . . . a running debate is sustained between the rival claims of Natural Law and positive law in effecting 'poetic justice'.1 So insistent is this debate that it is virtually a Shakespearian signature, and in King Lear we find no exception. In this play, moreover, Shakespeare sets in opposition particularly naked forms of the two legal systems, searches more profoundly the nature of their differences, and reveals in the ending an unsettling ambivalence which is a source of tragedy for the protagonists. The play is one of struggle...

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This section contains 14,591 words
(approx. 49 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by R. S. White