king lear study guide

What does Lear ask his daughters before he makes the decision about the kingdom final?
He asks them to tell him how much they love him
What is Cordelia’s answer to the question when Lear asks how much she loves him?
Cordelia says she has nothing to say to her father and she only loves him according to her bond
What is Kent’s reaction to the banishment of Cordelia
Kent feels that Cordelia’s statement was of true loyalty and tells Lear that he should see better to understand Cordelia is being truly honest with him
How does Shakespear establish the parallels of the two stories
the stories are linked by the inability of both Lear and Gloucester to see the true intentions of their children
Explain Cordelia’s message as she leaves her sisters
“the jewels of out fathers with wash’d eyes”
Cordelia’s eyes have been washed and now she can see clearly and understand her sisters don’t mean what they have said to their father
What theme does Lear’s “love test” establish at the beginning of the play
the idea of a sibling rivalry
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What emotional reasons are suggested for Goneril and Reagans later treatment of their father?
because he loves Cordelia the best and the other two sisters are king of mad about that
How has Lear upset the natural order
by abdicating his throne he is also giving up his place in the universe
what is contained in the letter Edmund pretends to be hiding from his father?
the letter expresses his theory that when parents are old they should give up their things to their children, but he says that Edgar wrote it
What does Edmund suggest his father do to prove the letter is true?
to let his father secretly overhead a conversation between Edgar and Edmund
What do Glousters and Edmunds comments about the constellations prove?
the stars are responsible for the mischief happening in the world, Edgars’ wrongdoings can be associated with the late eclipses of the sun and of the moon. People look to the stars for answers instead of looking within themselves
How does Kent’s disguise support the theme of sight and insight
Kent uses a disguise to service Lear who has banished him, it supports the sight theme because Lear must learn not to judge people by how they look on the outside
Why does Kent trip Oswald
Kent is trying to teach Oswald a lesson for treating Lear badly
What wisdom does the fool express by talking about nothing
The food says that it was dumb of Lear to give up his kingdom and that Lear falsely relied on the goodness of his daughters
Why is Lear angry at Goneril
because she criticizes the behavior of his followers
What is Lear’s curse on Goneril
he calls on the Gods to make her sterile and if she must have a child, let that child be as ungrateful as she is
What does Goneril’s action reveal about her character?
She disregards Lear’s curse showing her removed and and unfeeling character
Where does Goneril send Oswald
to send a letter to Regan to make sure they’re on the same page about the treatment of their father
Where does Lear send Kent
to Gloucester to explain the treatment he’s received from his Goneril
What does the Fool criticize Lear for
for giving up his power prematurely and acting rashly, he also comments that old age and wisdom don’t always go hand in hand
What is significant about Lear’s prayer?
first, this foreshadows Lear’s later madness and it also will go against the natural order and rightness of him being a king
Why does Edmund injure himself
because he’s falsely trying to convict Edgar so he makes it look like they fought
How does Gloucester react to the news
he vows to chase Edgar, and he also denounces Edgar as his natural son and says Edmund will be his heir
What does Kent say about Oswald character when he says “a tailor made thee”
he says that he’s dimwitted and does not have character saying Oswald is like Goneril’s puppet
What revenge does Lear swear on both of his daughters
He vows revenge on his daughters and cannot come up with a plan so he vows terrible things on both of them
What makes the sisters’ actions at the end seem particularly cruel
a violent storm is coming, yet the too claim the house is too small for Lear so they lock the gate
What two events signal the end of Lear’s reign as a father and a king
the storm represents Lear’s own mind and the fact that natural order has been disrupted
What news about Albany, Cornwall and the King of France does Kent reveal
he explains that the division of Albany and Cornwall has gotten bigger and the king of France wants to divide the country and has already landed with troops in Dover
What mission does Kent ask the knights to do
to go inform Cordelia of all that has happened and give her a ring so she knows the message is from Kent
What comment about women does Lear make
Lear believes that all women are engulfed in their own physical appearance
What is Kent’s opinion of the storms fierceness
Kent considers the storm to be the worst he’s ever exprienced,
Why does Lear tear off the clothes of poor Tom
so the two can bond over what they both have, “nothing”