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Argumentative Essay Topics for King Lear
- The most important symbol in “King Lear.”
- How are the gender roles significant for the development of the plot in “King Lear”?
- The traits of Lear as a tragic hero.
- The difference between appearance and reality as the main theme of “King Lear.”
- How does power corrupt the heroes of “King Lear”?
- The contrast between reason and foolishness as a central idea of “King Lear.”
- Self-knowledge as a fundamental treat for Cordelia’s character.
- How does King Lear’s stubbornness ruin his life?
- Is there any possibility that King Lear suffers from Alzheimer’s disease?
- Do the characters of “King Lear” control their lives with help of reason and will, or do they allow animal instincts and indifferent forces affect their decisions?
- If Shakespeare provided the backstory for King Lear, would he portray Lear as a merciful or heartless ruler?
- Is contrast between Edgar’s fake insanity and Lear’s madness significant for the central idea of “King Lear”?
- Why is “King Lear” still relevant nowadays?
- “King Lear” is a play about family relationships.
- Is Lear a positive or negative character? How does the reader’s impression of him change during the course of “King Lear”?
- Is there any worldview shared by all characters of “King Lear”?
- Why is the flattery of the elder daughters more plausible for King Lear than the faithful words of the younger daughter at the beginning of the play?
- What character in “King Lear” can be considered as the root of evil?
- Why can the tragic ending of “King Lear” also be considered as a good one?
- What was the basis of the plot of “King Lear”?
- What are the origins of evil in “King Lear” by William Shakespeare? How the author has depicted good and evil characters?
Analytical Essay Topics for King Lear
- Analyze how Shakespeare draws a parallel between physical blindness and blind confidence through the character of Gloucester.
- What are the causes of King Lear’s madness?
- Why is Shakespeare’s word choice significant for the play’s comprehension?
- What is the role of the Fool in the play?
- Loyalty and disloyalty in “King Lear.”
- How does the story of Gloucester and his sons add to the main plotline?
- A tragedy of kingship and fatherhood in “King Lear.”
- Why does the author insert the motif of blindness into the play “King Lear”?
- How does Shakespeare depict human nature in “King Lear”?
- What vices does Shakespeare condemn in “King Lear”?
- How does Shakespeare develop a theme of betrayal in his plays “King Lear” and “Othello”?
- What makes “King Lear” to reject his youngest daughter Cornelia?
- Describe the relationship between Lear and the Fool and its role in the play?
- What was the purpose of writing “King Lear”? Were there any issues that Shakespeare wanted to underscore?
- Analyze the connection between blindness and insanity in “King Lear.”
- How do the relationships between Lear and his daughters allow us to learn more about each character?
- How do the natural events add to the general storyline in “King Lear”?
- Analyze King Lear’s spiritual journey from the perspective of his psychological changes.
- Examine the causes of Lear’s and Gloucester’s sufferings. Are they similar?
- Why does Shakespeare’s “King Lear” have so many screen adaptations?
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for King Lear
- Compare and contrast the characters of “King Lear” (Shakespeare) and “Oedipus the King” (Sophocles).
- Compare and contrast the characters of the three sisters: Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia. Which character awakens the reader’s sympathy and why?
- Compare and contrast the characters of “King Lear” who base their lives on truth and the ones who base their lives on lies. How does it influence their fate?
- Compare and contrast the solipsism of Leontes from “The Winter’s Tale” and the madness of Lear from “King Lear.”
- Compare the portrayal of King Lear by Laurence Olivier (1983) and by Ian McKellen (2008).
- Compare and contrast the forms of insanity of “Hamlet” and “King Lear.”
- Compare and contrast the roles of male and female characters in “King Lear.”
- Compare the depiction of fatherhood in “King Lear” by Shakespeare and Father Goriot by Honore de Balzac.
- Examine similarities between the play “King Lear” and the movie “Godfather Part III.”
- Describe the common traits of two characters: Larry Cook (Jason Robards) from the movie “The Thousand Acres” with King Lear.
- Compare and contrast the play “King Lear” and the Japanese movie “Ran,” which is considered as an interpretation of Shakespeare’s play.
- Compare how Shakespeare in “King Lear” and Montaigne in “Essays” explore human reaction to misfortune.
- Compare and contrast the concept of familial loyalty represented in “Hamlet” and “King Lear.”
- Compare and contrast the role of lies in “King Lear” by Shakespeare and “Doll’s House” by Ibsen.
- Compare and contrast King Oedipus from Sophocles’ play and King Lear from Shakespeare’s play.
3 Impressive Facts About the Play “King Lear”
William Shakespeare wrote the play “King Lear” in the years 1605-1606, and is often called the best tragedy of the playwright. The play tells the story of a king who decides to divide his kingdom between three daughters: Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia.
The insidious sisters Regan and Goneril, using flattery and ostentatious “love,” deprive the king of power, and the good Cordelia faces tragic consequences. The overthrown monarch has captivated our imagination for centuries, but nevertheless there are still some interesting facts about the play that you may have missed during literature lessons.
- The inspiration for King Lear was the legendary British monarch.
The prototype of King Lear was the legendary king of Britain named Leir, who lived in 8th century BC, according to the “Historia Regum Britanniae,” written by Geoffrey of Monmouth in the 12th century. The work was described as “a brilliant compilation of myths, songs and fictions disguised as history.”
The sad story of the king has already been told in many works before Shakespeare’s play was staged. Among these works are the anonymous play “The True Chronicle of King Leir,” “The Mirror for Magistrates,” a collection of English poems from the Tudor era, and the work of Raphael Holinshed, written in 1587, “The Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland,” which included the legend of King Leir. Holinshed adopted it from the pseudo-historical work of Geoffrey of Monmouth.
Meanwhile, in 1590, two different works appeared that influenced the play: the poem by Edmund Spenser, “The Faerie Queen,” and “Arcadia,” the novel by Sir Philip Sidney, in which the illegitimate son blinds the ousted king.
Shakespeare added new ideas to his retelling of the legend of King Leir, including his insanity and the significance that the jester has in the play. The main difference between the work of Shakespeare and the works that inspired him is that they all, unlike the play, have a happy ending.
- The first known production of the play was staged for King James I.
“King Lear” was written during the reign of King James I of England, and the first known play of the tragedy took place in Whitehall on St. Stephen’s Day (December 26) in 1606. At that time, the English ruler (also known as James VI of Scotland) tried to unite England and Scotland into one kingdom. Ultimately, he was not able to do this because of the resistance of the parliaments of England and Scotland – however, the plot of the play, as experts believe, hit the king hard, because it illustrated the potential tragedy of the divided kingdom.
- There are several versions of the play.
If you have ever seen the play “King Lear” it was probably significantly different from the one that the English public saw in the Stuart era. This is because there were several early versions of the play, and the one that is known to us today is a certain combination of them.
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