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

King Lear How Realistic Is Act I Scene I?

1419 words - 6 pages

It is tempting to launch straight into a close analysis of the text, searching for some sort of "˜realism'. Nevertheless I feel it is important to first try to define what "˜realistic' means, and place our definition within the relationships created by the reading and performance of the play.What do we actually mean when we say something is "˜realistic'? If something is "˜realistic' it is a depiction of events, object or people as they are or were. There should be no idealization or presentation in abstract form. This is a rather dry dictionary definition. In common use, we mean realistic to be roughly equivalent to believable. In the context of a play, we do not generally judge on whether the action is truthful but whether it is believable. Especially when we see a play, rather than read it, we are invited to enter a state of suspended belief. External realism, connections we make between the action on stage and the "˜real world', matters less, we still ask whether it could happen, but we are less interested with whether it would happen. It is more important for the play to be consistent, for the play to believe in itself. This would be fine if it not for the fact that Shakespeare often reminds us that we are of course sitting in compact little seats or standing in the rain, with the rumble of jumbo jets above our heads. He jars the internal cohesion of the play, letting us know directly that we are watching, not experiencing, (from Scene 2, "like a catastrophe of the old comedy"). If we take Shakespeare's work as a collection of allegorical stories, (don't let ambition be your downfall! Don't kill your family!! Love before politics!!), then it is in his interest to maintain our belief in the play as the ultimate reality, as we are watching it. As soon as we realise we are merely watching actors trot out line after line his spell is broken and his "˜message' diluted. But to take Shakespeare's work as purely allegorical is idiotic, and a charge of unrealism is moot. Shakespeare's "˜message', if indeed it can be defined as such, is situated on both a theatrical and meta-theatrical level.The point I am trying to make, however unsuccessfully, is that it is invalid to ask "How realistic"¦?" without any further definition or clarification. All this having been said, I will now explore the areas of Act 1 Scene 1 which I find more or less "˜believable', or more or less sound within the fabric of the play itself.The scenario we are presented with is certainly rather peculiar. We have a King who is most likely near eighty years old (""˜Tis the infirmity of his age"), since he is splitting his kingdom in preparation for his "Unburdened crawl toward death". This King, who "hath ever but slenderly known himself", though "˜realistic' in his sense of absolute power verging on dictatorial authoritarianism, presents a rather fragile psyche when he can no longer...

Find Another Essay On King Lear - How Realistic Is Act I Scene I?

How Macbeth would perform Act IV Scene I

3891 words - 16 pages famous of these is the one that first appears during Act IV Scene I on line 10:"Double, double toil and trouble;Fire burn, and cauldron bubble."A chant is a monotonous phrase or slogan which is repeated over and over. It can be used to clearly get a message across or to cause something important to happen, in this case a magic spell.I have chosen this scene as I think that it is the most important scene out of the three options we were given, as

FEMINIST INTERPRETATION of King Lear in Act 1 Scene 1

1102 words - 4 pages ?” She is now a piece of rubbish, thrown away by the cruel patriarchal world.There is enough evidence In this scene, to provoke feminists to attack the and challenge the roles of women portrayed in Shakespeare’s King Lear. McLuskie’s, “The Patriarchal Bard” presents an in-depth analysis of the play from a feminist point of view. She criticizes that criticizes the male dominated society and misogynist attitudes presented in the text and thus diverting our empathy and sympathy from male to the women characters in the play.

FEMINIST INTERPRETATION of King Lear in Act 3 Scene 7

861 words - 3 pages portrayed as evil and as troublemakers. In her view of the play, she suggests how the play shows a “connection between sexual insubordination and anarchy” and “is given an explicit misogynist emphasis” However, in view of the social and historic context of the play, Shakespeare simply reflected how society at that time viewed and treated women according to the positions and roles that women were meant to fulfill.In Act 3 Scene

Drama In Act I, Scene V

1192 words - 5 pages . Just before Act 1 scene 5, Shakespeare has placed this piece of text, which Romeo says ‘I fear to early’. This makes us think why Shakespeare has put this here and what feelings is he trying to create. The possible feeling he is feeling at the moment is fear that is referred in the quote. This creates a lot of tension in the air and brings the audience in feeling very desirous wondering why he is feeling fear? What is it that is making him feel

Kingship in King Lear and King Henry IV, Part I

1736 words - 7 pages loose behavior I throw off and pay the debt I never promised, by how much better than my word I am” (1.2.195-210). In King Lear, Shakespeare also suggests that Lear is unfit to be king because of his perception of love. When Lear poses the question to his daughters, “Which of you shall we say doth love us most” (1.1.51), it implies that he is concerned more about love’s quantity than its quality. At this instance, Shakespeare’s intent may be to

Essay on Hamlet's evolution of thought through Act III Scene i, Act V Scene i, Act V Scene ii

1375 words - 6 pages In Shakespeare's play "Hamlet", the character of Hamlet is seen in many situations with changing evolutions of thought. The conscience plays a very important part in Shakespeare's Hamlet and gives insight to actions and thought that take place within Act III scene I, which includes perhaps the most famous of all of Shakespeare's soliloquies, Act V scene I, regarding Yorick and the grave yard, and lastly Act V scene II, which involves Claudius's

edmundlear Edmund's Soliliquy in Act 5 Scene 1 of Shakespeare's King Lear

998 words - 4 pages Analysis of Edmund's Soliliquy in Act 5 Scene 1 in King Lear     The portion of `The Tragedy of King Lear' I chose begins on line 55 of act five scene one and continues to line 64. I chose this selection because it includes much information about plot and character. Prior to my selection Regan questions Edmund closely about his relationship with her sister, Goneril, because Regan suspects they have been intimate. Edmund

The Importance of Act 1 Scene 2 of William Shakespeare's King Lear

2025 words - 8 pages The Importance of Act 1 Scene 2 of William Shakespeare's King Lear In a play of immense grandeur, Shakespeare has created within King Lear; a character so depraved that he appears to step beyond the realms of forgiveness. Act 1ii is the keystone of King Lear - its significance and influence radiates throughout the whole of the play. Interwoven with and parallel to the central story line, the subplot is used to enhance

Essay on Edgar's role in King Lear, Act 3, Scene 4

855 words - 3 pages Edgar's role in King Lear, Act 3, Scene 4 In Act 3, Scene 4, Edgar takes on the roles of a madman, and a spirit. In counterfeiting madness, he not only hides from an unjust death, but also serves as a character that resembles King Lear: (1) Both are deceived by family; (2) Both are outcasts of Gloucester's castle; (3) Both are threatened with death; and (4) Both enter into a form of madness. But, whereas King Lear actually becomes mad

Act II Scene I of William Shakespeare´s Hamlet

902 words - 4 pages Act II scene i of William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet is a scene in which a lot is revealed. In this scene Polonius sends his servant, Reynaldo, to France to see Laertes and also to spy on him. As Reynaldo is on his way out, Ophelia comes into the scene and she is very distraught. She explains to Polonius that Hamlet had confronted her in a very unkempt state. Hamlet had grabbed her wrist and held her there for a few moments and then sighed. In

Act 3 Scene I of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

3355 words - 13 pages Act 3 Scene I of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Before Act 3 scene i we know that there are two feuding families, the Capulets and the Montagues. The audience has been told at the start that to resolve this dispute their children, two innocent lovers, must die. The Prince had explicitly told the family that if there is another brawl their ‘lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace’. Romeo a Montague went

Similar Essays

King Lear Effectiveness Of The Act I, Sc I

1047 words - 4 pages KING LEAR CRITICAL STUDY "The Opening of any drama must mesmerise the audience"¦" How is this achieved in King Lear? In your answer you must refer to the core text Act I, Scene I.King Lear mesmerises the audience in its opening scene through a clear establishment of the story and the characters and in doing so, instigates an audience response to the issues and characters that effectively keeps them interested in the play

How The Character Of Macbeth Changes Between Act I Scene Iii, And Act Iii Scene I

779 words - 3 pages Macbeth's deceitful and paranoid mind, and the fact that now he will do anything to remain king. At this point in the play, I feel that the audience, for the first time, fully realise how obsessed and paranoid, Macbeth has become, with remaining king, and also having a line of kings as children. The fact that he was willing to kill one of his best friends and his children, just because he thinks they will jeopardise his chances of his children being kings, shows how obsessed at being king he is now in comparison to Act I, Scene iii, where he planned to leave it all to fate.

King Lear Act And Scene Summary

527 words - 3 pages Assignment 5 Part 1 King Lear summary. March 05 2002Lear, the aging king of Britain, decides to step down from the throne and divide his kingdom evenly among his three daughters. First, however, he puts his daughters through a test, asking each to tell him how much she loves him. Goneril and Regan, Lear's older daughters, give their father flattering answers. But Cordelia, Lear's youngest and favorite daughter, issilent, saying that she has no

Macbeth Act I Scene V Essay

648 words - 3 pages Rupert Goold’s Macbeth is well acclaimed for being a great play but there are many small details that all lead to that feedback. All directors want to draw the audience’s attention to a special part of the scene and they specifically design the scene to emphasize that main point by changing small details that the audience might not realize but still adds to the overall conclusion that the scene brings. In Act I Scene v, Rupert Goold