AP Lit: King Lear

Lear aging king of Britain, protagonistused to enjoying absolute power and to being flattered,does not respond well to being contradicted or challenged wishes to maintain the power of a king while unburdening himself of the responsibility.
Goneril Lear’s ruthless oldest daughter and the wife of the duke of Albany, jealous, treacherous, and amoral. challenges Lear’s authority, boldly initiates an affair with Edmund, and wrests military power away from her husband.
Duke of Albany The husband of Lear’s daughter Goneril. Although he allows Goneril, Regan, and Cornwall to abuse their power, he himself is good at heart, eventually denouncing and opposing their cruelty and treachery. he is indecisive and lacks foresight, not realizing the evil of his allies until quite late in the play.
Oswald The steward, or chief servant, in Goneril’s house.obeys his mistress’s commands and helps her in her conspiracies
Regan Lear’s middle daughter and the wife of the duke of Cornwall. s as ruthless as Goneril and as aggressive in all the same ways.
Duke of Cornwall The husband of Lear’s daughter Regan. Unlike Albany, He is domineering, cruel, and violent, and he works with his wife and sister-in-law Goneril to persecute Lear and Gloucester.
Cordelia Lear’s youngest daughter, disowned by her father for refusing to flatter him, held in extremely high regard by all of the good characters in the play—the king of France marries her for her virtue alone, overlooking her lack of dowry. remains loyal to Lear despite his cruelty toward her, forgives him, and displays a mild and forbearing temperament even toward her evil sisters, Goneril and Regan
King of France One of Cordelia’s suitors, eventually marries her for her virtues even though she doesn’t have a dowry
Duke of Burgundy One of Cordelia’s suitors, doesn’t want to marry her after she loses her dowry
Earl of Kent/ Caius A nobleman of the same rank as Gloucester who is loyal to King Lear. spends most of the play disguised as a peasant,” so that he can continue to serve Lear even after Lear banishes him. extremely loyal but gets himself into trouble throughout the play by being exceptionally blunt and outspoken.
Fool Lear’s jester. uses double-talk and seemingly frivolous songs to criticize Lear for the latter’s foolish mistakes
Earl Gloucester A nobleman loyal to King Lear whose rank, earl, is below that of duke; is an adulterer, having fathered a bastard son, Edmund.
Edgar/Poor Tom Gloucester’s older, legitimate son; assuming a disguise as a mad beggar to evade his father’s men (poor Tom)
Edmund Gloucester’s younger, illegitimate son. resents his status as a bastard and schemes to usurp Gloucester’s title and possessions from Edgar.
Curan Gentleman of gloucesters household
Goneril poisons ——- Regan
——- is the one character who can speak the truth to king Lear Fool
Inversion Inverted order of words in a sentenceVerb goes before the subject- Goes heObject before the verb- Him I hit
Iambic pentameter blank verse; every line has 10 syllables; stressed unstressed
Nihilism Philosophical belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated
Machiavellian stock characters Villainous stock character in Elizabethan drama named after Machiavelli Focus on personal gain, cynical, “evil” element
Anagnorisis Moment in play or other work when a character makes a critical discovery; the sudden awareness of a real situation
Symbolism A figure of speech where an object, person, or situation has another meaning other than its literal meaning. The actions of a character, word, action, or event that have a deeper meaning in the context of The Whole story
Theme Defined as a main idea or an underlying meaning of a literary work, which may be stated directly or indirectly .
Mood Literary element that evokes certain feelings or vibes in readers through words and descriptions; mood is referred to as the atmosphere of a literary piece, as it creates an emotional setting that surrounds the readers
Tone Attitude of a writer towards a subject or an audience
Please give an example of a Machiavellian stock character and explain how or why that character could be considered a Machiavellian stock character King LearEdmund GonerilRegan
Give an example of a symbol that is present in king Lear and explain what it symbolizes and how you know it is a symbol Gloucester’s blindness- he was blind to Edmunds treachery; Lear was blind to which daughter actually loved him
Act 1 summary Lear plans on dividing kingdom between three daughters- have to profess love for himRegan and Goneril use flattery but Cordelia doesn’t-she and Kent get banished, king of France marries Cordelia Edmund tells Gloucester that Edgar is planning to kill GloucesterGoneril complains about Lear and tells servants to behave rudely towards himKent comes back disguised as Caius and becomes a servant to LearFool tells Lear that he messed up handing over his powerLear is upset with gonerils treatment and plans on going to stay with ReganGoneril writes a letter to Regan who is also determined to not house lears knights Lear sends Kent to deliver message to Gloucester Fool keeps on telling Lear he messed upLear and co. Leave for regans castle
Act 2 summary Curan tells Edmund that Cornwall and Regan are coming to the castleEdmund tricks Edgar into fleeing and tricks Gloucester into believing that Edgar tried to kill Edmund for not helping him kill Gloucester Cornwall and Regan believe Edmund Kent and Oswald get into a fight-Kent is placed in the stocksKent reads letter from Cordelia who plans on helping from afarEdgar assumes identity of poor TomLear doesn’t believe that Regan would put Kent in te stocks Lear complains about Goneril but Regan takes her sideLear is upset and heads outside- Gloucester wants to go out and get him but the daughters lock the doors
Act 3 Summary Kent gives knight ring and orders him to give it to Cordelia then goes out to look for LearKent finds Lear and they take shelter in a hovel Gloucester tells Edmund of his plans to help Lear and Edmund is happy because now he can betray his father Kent, fool, and Lear come across poor Tom in the hovel- Lear likes poor Tom Gloucester finds them and takes them back to castle Edmund tells Cornwall about Gloucester Kent lear go to Dover Gloucester is blinded for helping Lear A servant tries to stop it and fights Cornwall but Regan kills the servantCornwall gouges out the other eye
Act 4 Summary Gloucester asks poor Tom to lead him to the top of the cliffs of Dover Goneril and Albany fight over her treatment of LearThey find out that Cornwall has died and Gloucester has been blinded Goneril has mixed feelings about his death bc it allows Regan to pursue EdmundKent learns that Cordelia was moved by his letterCordelia sends soldiers out to find Lear Regan wants Edmund for herself and promises Oswald a reward if he kills Gloucester Gloucester is tricked into believing that he fell down the luffEdgar kills Oswald when he tries to kill Gloucester and reads gonerils Letter- plans on showing it to Albany Cordelia forgives Lear for banishing her
Act 5 Summary Albany declares that he intends to fight with his wifeGoneril and Regan fight over EdmundEdgar gives Albany the letter Edmund has decided to put off decision picking one of the two until after the battle Lear and Cordelia have been capturedEdmund tells guard what to do to themRegan says she plans on marrying husband but Goneril says she won’t Albany arrests Edmund for treason and challenges him to duelEdgar appears and fights Edmund and when’sGoneril rushes off and commits suicide after having poisoned ReganGloucester died of joy and grief when Edgar revealed himself to himEdmund repents his crimes and died- warns them that he ordered Cordelia to be hanged Cordelia died and Lear dies soon afterAlbany invites Edgar and Kent to rule with himKent refuses because he plans on joining Lear
I. 1. 135-136 Kent tries to interfere on Cordelia’s behalf but ends up being banished as well
I. 2. 51-61 Edmund shows Gloucester the letter that “Edgar” wrote to Edmund talking about how he wants to kill his father and receive the inheritanceGloucester wants to know how Edmund got this and if Edgar really wrote this
I. 3. 4-11 Goneril is complaining to Oswald about how bad Lear and his knights behave at her houseShe decides to not put up with it anymore and tells Oswald to not be as good of a servant to Lear anymore
I. 4.288-304 Lear is upset that Goneril dismissed fifty of his knightsHe doesn’t like that she has the power to make him upsetLear wishes for her to have an ungrateful child so that she can know how he is feeling
I. 5. 25-33 The fool is telling Lear that he made a mistake when he gave the kingdom to his daughters- now he doesn’t have a place to go
II. 1. 53-73 Edmund tells Gloucester that Edgar tried to kill him when Edmund told Edgar that he wouldn’t kill Gloucester Gloucester is upset and says that if Edgar is found in the country he’ll be killed
II. 2. 14-24 Kent is going off on Oswald for not being loyal to Lear and for carrying letters that slander the king
II. 3.20-21 Edgar assumes his disguise of Poor Tom to hide from the men out looking for him
II. 4.346-353 Gloucester wants to go out look for the King in the storm Regan and Cornwall command him not to and lock the doors
III. 1. 48-56 Kent gives a gentleman a purse and ring to assure him that he is a nobleman in disguiseWants him to give a message to Cordelia and the ring is proof of who he is
III. 2.1-11 Lear is raging outside in the storm
III. 3.21-25 Edmund plans on telling Cornwall that his father is helping Lear so that he can receive the power
III. 4.8-25 Lear is talking about how this storm may be causing him pain but it’s nothing compared to the pain he feels from Regan and Gonerils betrayal
III. 5. 18-26 Edmund tells Cornwall about Gloucester helping LearCornwall tells him to go find his father and tell Gloucester that they’re going to arrest him Edmund tells him that he’ll do what he has to even though it “pains” him
III, 6. 111-126 Edgar realizes that his troubles are nothing compared to what Lear is going through- doesn’t feel as bad nowPlan on keeping watch until he can prove his innocence
III. 7. 101 Cornwall forces out gloucesters other eye
IV. 1. 83-88 Gloucester wants poor Tom to take him to cliffs of Dover so he can commit suicide Poor Tom agrees to take him
IV. 2. 77-82 Goneril and Albany are fighting about taking the kingdomGoneril calls Albany a coward
IV. 3. 12-17 A gentleman informs Kent that Cordelia received his letter and she was moved by it
IV. 4. 1-11 Cordelia sends out men to look for LearShe wants to know what can make him sane again Doctor tells her that herbs and rest will help him
IV. 5.22-30 Regan wants Oswald to tell her what Goneril wrote to EdmundRegan wants to marry Edmund for herself
IV. 6. 86-97 Edgar is telling Gloucester that he was standing on top of the cliff next to the devil and that the gods must want him to stay alive
IV. 7, 50-64 Lear wakes up and wants to know where he isQuestioning whether or not he’s alive or dead
V. 1. 64-77 Edmund plans on using Albany to win the war and then afterwords he’ll let either one of the sisters get rid of himPlans on killing Lear and Cordelia once they are his prisoners
V. 2. 3-4 Edgar leaves Gloucester under the shade of a tree while he goes off to fight in the battle
V. 3. 380-396 Lear dies Albany entrusts the kingdom to Kent and Edgar Kent plans on following Lear (dying)
Machinations Shakespeare: plotting, intrigue, scheming Modern: plot or scheme
Maledictions Shakespeare: cursing, invective, denunciation Modern: a magical word or phrase uttered with the intention of bringing about evil; a curse
Degenerate Shakespeare: showing evidence of decline Modern: having lost the physical, mental or moral qualities considered normal and desirable; showing evidence of decline; an immoral or corrupt person
Pestilent Shakespeare: harmful or dangerous to morals or public orderModern: destructive to life; deadly
Insolent Shakespeare: showing a rude and arrogant lack of respect Modern: showing a rude and arrogant lack of respect
Sepulchering Shakespeare: to lay or bury in a vault of tomb Modern: (sepulcher) a small room or monument, cut in rock or built of stone, in which a dead person is laid or buried
Halcyon Shakespeare: kingfisher- bird that was supposed to have power of wind and waves Modern: denoting a period of time in the past that was idyllically happy and peaceful
Privily Shakespeare: secretly, privately Modern: sharing in the knowledge of (something secret or private)
Usurers Shakespeare: the practice of making unethical or immoral monetary loans that unfairly enrich the lender, a loan of any kind Modern: a person who lends money at unreasonably high rates of interest
Pernicious Shakespeare: having a harmful effect, especially in gradual or subtle wayModern: having a harmful effect, especially in a gradual or subtle way
Beguiled Shakespeare: charm, captivate, bewitchModern: charm or enchant (someone), often in a deceptive way
Firmament Shakespeare: up in the sky Modern: The heavens or sky
propinquity Shakespeare: close kinship, blood relationship Modern: The state of being close to someone or something; proximity
Heretics Shakespeare:person who differs in opinion from established belief or truth Modern: person holding an opinion at odds with what is generally accepted
Dolors Shakespeare: state of great sorrow or distress Modern: sorrow grief lamentation
Impetuous Shakespeare: acting or done quickly without thought or care Modern: acting or done quickly and without thought or care
Dullard Shakespeare: person who is not very bright or interesting Modern: a slow or stupid person
Ruffian Shakespeare: violent person Modern: a violent person, especially one involved in crime
Raiment Shakespeare: clothing, clothes, dress, garment Modern: clothing
Superfluous Shakespeare: unnecessary, especially through being more than enough, having too much, oversupplied Modern: unnecessary, especially through being more than enough
Amity Shakespeare: friendly or peaceful relationship Modern: friendly relations
Dotage Shakespeare: feebleness of mind, senility; infatuation, excessive affection Modern: The period of life in which a person is old and weak
Abatement Shakespeare: lessening, decrease, diminution Modern: The action of abating or being abated; ending or subsiding
Sojourn Shakespeare: visit, temporary stay Modern: a temporary stay
Auricular Shakespeare: audible, hearable, perceived by the earModern: relating to the ear or hearing
Antipathy Shakespeare: strong feeling of dislikeModern: a deep seated feeling of aversion
Brazen Shakespeare: everlasting, imperishable, impenetrable Modern: bold and without shame
Enmity Shakespeare: state or feeling of active opposition or hostilityModern: a state or feeling of active opposition or hostility
Pilferings Shakespeare: to steal, especially things of little value Modern: steal (things of little value)
countenance Shakespeare: appearance, aspect, lookModern: a person’s face or facial expression
How did Cornwall die Was fatally wounded by servant who attempted to stop him from blinding Gloucester
How did Oswald die Edgar killed him when he attempted to kill Gloucester
How did Regan die Goneril poisoned her so that she could marry Edmund
How did Edmund die He was fatally wounded in his duel with Edgar
How did Goneril die She killed herself after seeing that Edmund lost and was wounded
How did Gloucester die He died of joy and grief when Edgar revealed himself to him before his duel
How did Cordelia die She was hanged on edmunds orders
How did Lear die Grief upon seeing his daughter dead