Directions: Answer 10 questions.
1.Give two sources for King Lear. How does Shakespeare adapt them for his own purposes?
2. Write a fan letter to either Edgar or Edmond, specifying the qualities that please you most.
3. Take either Regan or Goneril and discuss her role in the play. Say what she wants from Lear, her husband and life, and say what her end is.
4. How does the sub-plot mirror or comment on the main plot? You will need to identify the main characters in each and discuss their relationships.
5. Ponder ‘nothing.’
6. Which of these statements do you find most pertinent to the play?
“As flies to wanton boys are we to th’gods; / They kill us for their sport” (p. 137).
“The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices / Make instruments to plague us”
7. Compare and contrast the madness of Edgar, Lear and the Fool.
8. How does Edmond’s character draw on the figures of the Vice and the malcontent?
9. Lear moves from blindness to (in)sight. Discuss, with examples.
10. There are three kinds of justice at issue in the play. What are they? And how do they function?
11. How is the play a de casibus tragedy?
12. Find views of nature in the play. How does Edmond’s differ from Edgar’s?
13. How do you think Cordelia might have described her father to her husband, the king of France, after their marriage? Answer in the form of direct speech, as a kind of pillow-talk. Base your answer on the play, not on some fantasy of your own.
14. Consider father and son relationships in the play.
15. “Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say” (p. 199). Discuss in relation to the play.