Understanding King Lear: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents

Front Cover
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004 - 183 pages

Considered one of Shakespeare's most powerful dramas, King Lear, with its combined elements of political and domestic tragedy, is as interesting to today's readers as it was to Elizabethan audiences. While the play's intricate plot and timely themes can be challenging to students, studying the play in its historical contexts sheds a great deal of light on important dramatic elements and topical references. This casebook was prepared to help students understand the literary and historic issues in King Lear, as well as its contemporary applications. Readers are introduced to the work with a Dramatic Analysis focusing on genre, character archetypes, themes, and sources. Excerpts from actual historical and literary sources demonstrate how King Lear incorporates elements of fairy tale, legend, and history as it alludes to the political controversies of Shakespeare's day. The final chapter in the casebook helps readers appreciate the thematic relatedness of King Lear to contemporary issues by focusing on the treatment of the elderly in our own society.

 

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Contents

Dramatic Analysis
1
Geoffrey of Monmouth The History of the King of Britain c 1135 in The British History of Geoffrey of Monmouth Ed J A Giles Trans A Thompson
4
Raphael Holinshed Chronicles of England Scotland and Ireland Vol 1 1587
5
Sir John Wildgoose letter to Lord Cecil 1603 in Historical Manuscripts Commission Calendar of the Manuscripts of the Most Honorable The Marques...
8
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm The Goose Girl at the Well in Grimms Household Tales Trans Margaret Hunt 1892
9
The True Chronicle History of King Leir and His Three Daughters Gonorill Ragan and Cordella c 1594 Ed A F Hopkinson
12
Sir Philip Sidney The Countess of Pembrokes Arcadia 1590 Ed Oskar Sommer
13
Aristotle The Poetics c 330 BC in Aristotles Theory of Poetry and Fine Art Trans S H Butcher
15
A Midsummer Nights Dream
92
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
93
The Geneva Bible
94
Juan Luis Vives The Instruction of a Christian Woman Trans Richard Hyrde 1529
96
Bartholomew Batty A Christian Mans Closet Trans William Lowth 1581
99
Eight Treatises 1622 Treatise 5 Duties of Children
101
Eight Treatises 1622 Treatise 6 Duties of Parents
103
Henry Swinburne Treatise of Testaments Part 5 1635
105

Samuel Johnson Afterword to King Lear 1765 in Johnson on Shakespeare Ed Walter Raleigh
18
That way madness lies Insanity in Shakespeares Time
29
Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Ed A R Shilleto Vol 1 1893
35
Anonymous TomABedlam 1682
38
Thomas Dekker The Belman of London 1608 in The NonDramatic Works of Thomas Dekker Vol 3 Ed Alexander B Grosart
41
Sir Thomas More The apologye of Syr T More Knyght chapter 36 1533
43
Sir Thomas Elyot The Castle of Health 1541
45
John Case The Praise of Musicke 1586
48
Thomas Dekker and Thomas Middleton The Honest Whore part 1 1605
50
Thomas Tryon a treatise of dreams and visions To which is added a Discourse of the Causes Natures and Cure of Phrensie Madness or Distraction
53
15351860 A History presented in Selected English Texts Ed Richard Hunter and Ida Macalpine
55
Kingship The Responsibilities and Weaknesses of a Ruler
59
Or the Reciprocal and Mutual Duty Betwixt a Free King and His Natural Subjects 1598 in The Political Works of James I Ed Charles Howard McIlwain
64
Basilicon Doron 1599 in The Political Works of James I Ed Charles Howard McIlwain
65
King James A Speech to the Lords and Commons of the Parliament March 21 1609 in The Political Works of James I Ed Charles Howard McIlwain
66
King James I A Speech to the Upper House of Parliament Monday March 19 1603 in The Political Works of James I Ed Charles Howard McIlwain
69
King James I A Speech to Both Houses of Parliament March 31 1607 in The Political Works of James I Ed Charles Howard McIlwain
71
Sir Roger Wilbraham The Journal of Sir Roger Wilbraham in The Journal of Sir Roger Wilbraham 15131616 Together with Notes in Another Hand ...
74
Francis Osborne Esq Some Traditional Memoirs on the Reign of King James I 1658 in The Secret History of The Court of James the First Vol 1
77
Sir Anthony Weldon The Character of King James 1650 in The Secret History of The Court of James the First Vol 2
79
Nicolo Molin Report on England presented to the Government of Venice 1607 in Calendar of State Papers and Manuscripts Relating to English Affai...
81
According to my bond Family Ties in Shakespeares Time
85
Othello
91
Henry Smith A Preparative to Marriage and Two Other Sermons 1591
107
Eight Treatises 1622 Treatise 7 Duties of Servants
108
Adaptations A Tale Retold
113
Nahum Tate letter to Thomas Boteler in Nahum Tate The History of King Lear 1681
115
Nahum Tate The Final Scene in Nahum Tate The History of King Lear 1681
116
Ron Carlson King Lear in Zebulon County 1991
123
Russell Smith Film Review of A Thousand Acres 1997
128
David Ng Review of Ran 2001
132
Contemporary Application Treatment of the Elderly
137
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke NINDS Alzheimers Information Page
139
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke NINDS MultiInfarct Dementia Information Page
141
President Ronald Reagan letter to the American people 1994
142
Former First Lady Isnt Sure Former President Even Recognizes Her 2002
143
Part I
144
Beth Witrogen McLeod Caring for a Parent Did I Do Enough? 2000
151
Part II
153
Stephanie Smith Musician Helps Alzheimers Patients 2001
162
Home Away from Home Relocating Your Parents 2003
165
Lori Burling Health Care Facility Takes New Approach for Dementia Patients 2003
166
Part III
168
An Alzheimers Journal Ed Jack Henderson Main Ruth D Henderson and Nancy Andrews Photographs by Nancy Andrews 1998
173
Index
177
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

DONNA WOODFORD is Assistant Professor of English at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia.

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