THE BASIC IDEAS OF LEAR
Life resolves itself into alternative.
1. Nature: Lear’s order
Edmund’s impulse and will
2. Views of man: a human being conforming to order
animal (Edmund’s view of nature
Possessor of certain prerogativs as established by nature
Obsolescence: to be used for profit for the fittest
Eternal (Nature as order)
Injustice inflicted by man as animal
And so: Paradox
Beasts of prey may perish before their victims
Hidden justice may upset the inseparable temporary power
Naked may survive
Blind may come to sight
Imagination may be reduced to complete incompetence, even to mental incompetence.
Man stands on his own feet in “King Lear.” There is no supernatural soliciting
No ghosts, witches, oracles. Man takes his questioning directly to Nature.
READ: Granville-Barker: preface, King Lear
Heilman: This Great Stage (Images and Structure in King Lear)
Danby: Shakespeare’s Doctrine of Nature