Essay About Criticism Of Shakespeare's Plays

When attempting to read criticism of Shakespeare plays one idea is
clear: if the review was written more than five or ten years ago the essay is
likely to be exclusive when it comes to the women in Shakespeare. Little
attention had been given to the women of Shakespeare prior to the seventies
feminist movement. The women in King Lear deserve attention just as women in
every Shakespearean play do. A common idea among critics is that the women
perpetuated evil and were not worthy of acknowledgment for anything else.
Goneril and Regan are believed to be vicious, evil women and Cordelia the small,
sweet daughter and while this interpretation may be true there are other aspects
to consider ...

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Most recent critical
essays of King Lear do make note of the class struggle within the play; however,
critics tend to ignore the gender struggles which upon thorough reading are
clearly as obvious as the class issues. I have chosen an interpretation of King
Lear from 1960, by Irving Ribner and set it in contrast with a 1991 review by
Ann Thompson. There are some interesting points made in both essays and some
stark differences in ‘what and who' are the important themes and characters in
In Irving Ribner's essay, “The Pattern of Regeneration in King Lear,”
Ribner focuses on Lear's regeneration as a result of the “suffering” he must
undergo(Ribner 116). In the opening section of his essay, Ribner makes clear
that he will approach his interpretation of King Lear from the perspective of
Lear's spiritual rebirth. Ribner focuses attention on the suffering of Lear and
of the process of rebirth through suffering that Lear is able to do. Lear is
indeed the tragic hero but ...

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views the behavior of Cordelia, Edgar, Kent and the Fool as the
antithesis to the evil doings of the other characters. In Ribner's study of
King Lear the forces representing evil are most clearly examined through the
behavior of Goneril and Regan with occasional references to Edmund and Cornwall.
While Ribner does use Edmund as a representative of evil, he also excuses Edmund
based on his background of illegitimacy. Ann Thompson later criticizes the
critics who let Edmund ‘off the hook' based on his background.
Ribner places his critique in historical context of the Jacobean
response to the play. He is careful to note what ‘would be' reactions in
specific instances may have ...

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Essay About Criticism Of Shakespeare's Plays. (2007, September 1). Retrieved August 8, 2020, from
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"Essay About Criticism Of Shakespeare's Plays." September 1, 2007. Accessed August 8, 2020.
"Essay About Criticism Of Shakespeare's Plays." September 1, 2007. Accessed August 8, 2020.
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Added: 9/1/2007 02:42:41 PM
Category: Arts
Type: Free Paper
Words: 2158
Pages: 8

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