This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Elements Of Social Criticism In “Everyman” And “King Lear”

1696 words - 7 pages

Page numbers PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT 1
Omer BotenskiSurvey of English literature from the middle ages to the interregnumDr. Aaron LandauMarch 10th 2013Elements of Social Criticism in "Everyman" and "King Lear"In the following essay I will discuss, compare and contrast the elements of social criticism in two major works: the anonymous morality play "Everyman" and the tragedy "King Lear" by William Shakespeare [the first time you mention an author or critic you should bring the full name, settling for the last name in all future references]. I will start by providing a slight background about the time (works can't be written in social events) these two works were written in and their social concerns in order to lay a supportive base for my claims that…?. Everyman was written after 1485, in a society and time when religion and "the ultimate fate of the soul" (Norton, 463) were the central (but not the only…) discourse. And religion could be and was used to address a variety of social and earthly problems… Perhaps you would like to say that here if you are going to discuss social criticism in "Everyman" as your title suggest "King Lear"', however, was written in the beginningof the 17th century in England under the rule of James the first, in an era of political struggles, battles over family inheritance, personal gain by treason? and lies? Are there unique to that period? and most importantly, as Delany put it, a period in which "an uncertain balance has been struck in the transition between the feudal-aristocratic society … [and] the emergent bourgeois state" (why do italicize? No need to bring the last name here, since you already introduced the text as Delany's, 429). Good, this is a more specific and concrete historical observation As a result, we are bound to find major differences between the aims and narratives of these two plays, although they originate from a few similar principals? Unclear and imprecise: how and why do they originate from "similar principles"? . I will mention every issue? and explain how it relates to each play accordingly.To begin with, it is crucial to determine how each society is represented in each play in order to spot the elements of social criticism in them. In "Everyman", society is represented by a single character - Everyman himself - so it is obvious there is an attempt to generalize people into one figure. If Everyman sins, everyone sins. If Everyman can reach salvation by confession and good deeds then everyone can be saved by these things as well Good point, but are there also more specific allusions to other members of society (occupations in society) in that play?. So the criticism is pointed to all mankind here, unlike in "King Lear" where there is a specific group of people - the king and the people surrounding him - which represent a complicated set of characters how can these characters "represent characters", they are characters; they may represent values, etc…sharing...

Find Another Essay On Elements of Social Criticism in “Everyman” and “King Lear”

Robes and Furred Gowns Hide All: A Study of Social Illusions in King Lear and Brave New World

1248 words - 5 pages Social illusion can be defined as a perception, as of visual stimuli that represents what is perceived in a way different from the way it is in reality(online dictionary). Both the play of King Lear by William Shakespeare and the novel of Brave New World by Aldous Huxley compare the two perceptions of social illusion and reality in regards to the ideals induced by society. Both Huxley and Shakespeare attempt to expose the social illusions of

Shakespeare's King Lear - Goneril and Cordelia in King Lear

952 words - 4 pages The Characters of Goneril and Cordelia in King Lear   Nothing makes a story like a good villain, or in this case, good villainess. They are the people we love to hate and yearn to watch burn. Goneril, of Shakespeare’s King Lear, is no exception. Her evils flamed from the very beginning of the play with her lack of sincerity in professing her love for her father: "Sir, I love you more than word can wield the matter; Dearer than

Shakespeare's King Lear - Suffering of Cordelia in King Lear

1503 words - 6 pages the Shakespeare that wrote King Lear... includes its capricious cruelty. And what meeter sacrifice to this than Cordelia?"5 Yet in another passage Granville-Barker has come much closer to touching on the real explanation. I quote the passage at length.   It will be a fatal error to present Cordelia as a meek saint. She has more than a touch of her father in her. She is as proud as he is, and as obstinate, for all her sweetness and

Importance of Self Knowledge and Forgiveness in King Lear

1214 words - 5 pages The importance of self-knowledge and forgiveness is strikingly obvious in the play King Lear. If we accept that the two characters most lacking in self-knowledge are Lear and Gloucester, we can examine how the importance of this quality for them is shown in the play. Whilst these two characters lack self-knowledge, the world around them quickly deteriorates. As a result of their lack of insight, evil is given space to breed and take over, and

Insanity and the Necessity of Madness in King Lear

1841 words - 7 pages The Necessity of Madness in King Lear At the beginning of “King Lear,” an authoritative and willful protagonist dominates his court, making a fateful decision by rewarding his two treacherous daughters and banishing his faithful one in an effort to preserve his own pride. However, it becomes evident during the course of the tragedy that this protagonist, Lear, uses his power only as a means of projecting a persona, which he hides behind as

Alienation in King Lear and The Jew of Malta

3130 words - 13 pages Alienation in King Lear and The Jew of Malta During one time or another, every individual has experienced Alienation. Whether it is with family members, in our society, in our religion, in our educational institution and even in politics: “The most common form of alienation is the physical and cultural kind experiencing "foreignness" or "culture shock." This is also the kind of alienation that is most easily

King Lear - Discuss the role of the fool in King Lear and his function in the unfolding of the plot

687 words - 3 pages In 'King Lear', the Fool is a character of dramatic importance in the play. The Fool helps the reader, and in Shakespeare's time would help the audience, to understand what lies beneath the surface of certain actions or verses. He equally strives to make Lear 'see'. The Fool may be a very intriguing character and very often a complicated one but his role is necessary in 'King Lear'.The Fool plays three major roles; one of these roles is that of

Comparing Lear and Gloucester in Shakespeare's King Lear

1928 words - 8 pages      In Shakespeare's classic tragedy, King Lear, there are several characters who do not see the reality of their situation. Two such characters are Lear and Gloucester. Both characters exhibit a blindness to the world around them. Lear does not see clearly the truth of his daughters mentions, while Gloucester is also blinded by Edmond's treachery. This failure to see reality leads to Lear's intellectual blindness, which is his insanity, and

Human Suffering in Inferno and King Lear

1911 words - 8 pages overcome. Both the Inferno and King Lear contain elements of desperation, but the final tones of both works illustrate their differences. This is not to say, however, that there is absolutely no hope in King Lear. The theme is simply more veiled and less prevalent in King Lear than in Inferno. For example, in the final scene of the play, Lear’s penultimate address to a now deceased Cordelia is one of hope: “We two alone will sing like birds in

King Lear and the Genre of Tragedy

1299 words - 6 pages A tragedy is a genre typically defined as a play that deals with a series of events that lead to the downfall of the hero. Written between 1604 and 1606, ‘King Lear’ falls into the genre of tragedy, depicting the destruction and downfall of the main character (Abrams). The play centres on Lear, an aging king who, in his retirement, decides to divide his kingdom between his three daughters while retaining the title and privileges of being king

Action and Observation in Shakespeare's King Lear

2386 words - 10 pages Action and Observation in King Lear        Auden once asserted that Shakespearean tragedy is necessarily parabolic, pertaining to the only myth that Christianity possesses: that of the 'unrepentant thief'. We as the spectators are thus implicated in the action since each of us 'is in danger of re-enacting [this story] in his own way'.1 The sufferings of the hero could be our own sufferings, whereas in Greek tragedy, such a notion is

Similar Essays

This Is An Essay About King Lear And How It Used Several Literary Elements

611 words - 2 pages In King Lear one of the most important themes is blindness. In King Lear both Lear and glouscter are blind. In this book blindness is not a physical quality but a mental flaw that some people have. Both King Lear and glouscter are good examples of blindness. Each of these characters's blindness was the main cause of the bad decisions they made. The blindest character in my mind was King Lear. Because of Lear's high position in society, he was

Transformation Of Lear In Shakespeare's King Lear

1714 words - 7 pages ?” (3.4.28-32). Lear is realizing that he is not the only one who is suffering, his people are as well. He recognizes that he is selfish and that as king he could have helped them suffer less and he did nothing. Lear understands his faults and is beginning to accept that he has a great many mistakes. Through recognition of his flaws Lear is now learning to accept and admit them. While in the presence of Edgar and Kent, Lear delivers an unprompted

King Lear Disruption Of Order In King Lear And The Causes

881 words - 4 pages Shakespeare's King Lear is a play which shows the consequences of one man's decisions. The audience follows the main character, Lear, as he makes decisions that disrupt order in his Kingdom. When Lear surrenders all his power and land to his daughters as a reward for their demonstration of love towards him, the breakdown on order in evident. Lear's first mistake is to divide his Kingdom into three parts. A Kingdom is run best under one ruler

An Analysis And Summary Of Everyman, Characters In Everyman

1145 words - 5 pages play and one of them is Death who is sent by God to Everyman for his pilgrimage which is his last journey. When God send Death to Everyman, he asks him if he had forgotten his creator because Everyman is very much concerned with worldly things. He is in lust and interested in treasure during his life.When Death goes to Everyman to take him to his last journey, he wants him to take his full book of of accounts. It means all the good and bad things