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Act I


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Act I

  1. 1. King Lear: Act I, scene i (Please don’t copy down all questions, just make quick notes. ) <ul><li>The opening lines have Gloucester talking to Kent. What do we discover about Edmund? </li></ul><ul><li>In Lear’s speech (lines 37-55) what does he tell us he is doing? </li></ul><ul><li>Why does Lear change his mind, and give his kingdom only to Goneril and Regan? </li></ul><ul><li>Cordelia has two suitors – Burgundy and France. Why does Burgundy withdrawer from courting her? </li></ul><ul><li>Why is Kent banished from Lear’s service? </li></ul>
  2. 2. Introduction to characters. <ul><li>How we treat people in power often defines who we are. Those who are overly keen to please the powerful are often abusive to those beneath them. </li></ul><ul><li>For each of the following characters, what do we learn about them through their treatment of Lear (who is the King) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Goneril (56-62), (consider too the conversation 285- end) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regan (70-77) (consider too the conversation 285- end) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cordelia (88-105) (225-234) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kent (140-160) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Support your thoughts with specific reference to the text. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Ideas: perception <ul><li>perception. </li></ul><ul><li>For each of the following quotes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Find the lines in your book, and read around them to work out what is happening. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the margin, explain briefly how it links to the idea of perception. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lear ‘Tell me, my daughters… which of you shall we say doth love us most? That we our largest bounty may extend…’ (49-53) </li></ul><ul><li>Goneril [to Lear] ‘Sir, I love you more than word can wield the matter…’(56) </li></ul><ul><li>Kent (to Lear after Lear has denounced Cordelia) ‘See better Lear, and let me still remain/ The true blank of thine eye.’ (159-60) </li></ul><ul><li>Goneril: ‘… with what appears poor judgement he hath now cast her off appears too grossly. Regan ‘ ‘Tis the infirmity of his age; yet he hath ever but slenderly known himself.’ (293-296) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Act I, Sc ii: Gloucester is deceived by Edmund. <ul><li>Write down three bullet points summarising how Edmund manipulates Gloucester: </li></ul><ul><li>What do we learn about the relationship between Gloucester and Edgar in lines 99-100 </li></ul><ul><li>The story of Gloucester + Edgar/ Edmund is a parallel story to that of Lear + Goneril/ Regan/ Cordelia. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How are the stories similar. See if you can find 3-4 similarities. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Write down three bullet points summarising how Edmund manipulates Edgar. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Act I, Sc iii: Goneril tells us she’s sick of Lear and his Kinghts <ul><li>Find one quote that demonstrates Goneril’s changed attitude to Lear. </li></ul><ul><li>What is the problem Goneril complains about? </li></ul><ul><li>Why is she no longer sucking up to Lear? </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Lear tells us ‘I have perceived a most faint neglect of late…’(67) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is meant by this? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lear asks Oswald (Goneril’s servant) ‘who am I?’ (79) Oswald responds ‘My lady’s father.’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why is this offensive? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How does it demonstrate the changed nature of things. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The fool enters in Line 99. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Note: there is some talk of the fool disappearing later in the play. Talk generally is that the same actor that played Cordelia, also played the fool. So, they are never on stage at the same time) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Read through the conversation between the Fool and Lear (lines 154- 171) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What basic point does the fool make here? </li></ul></ul>I, iv
  7. 7. I, iv <ul><li>Read through lines 247-262 again.What is Goneril’s chief complaint? </li></ul><ul><li>Read Lear’s reaction (starting Line 274). How does he take this criticism? </li></ul><ul><li>Our response: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is obvious from this scene that things have turned out poorly for Lear, and that the fool’s predictions – you’ve stuffed this up – are accurate. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is conflict between Lear and Goneril in this scene. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The audience sides with Lear, yet we feel little sympathy for him. Why not? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The scene ends with a conversation between Goneril and her husband (Albany)List an adjective summarising her attitude towards him. Provide a quote to support your choice. </li></ul>
  8. 8. I,v <ul><li>The fool tells Lear… ‘I can tell why a snail has a house…. Why, to put’s head in; not to give to his daughters…’ </li></ul>COPY THIS DOWN. The fool’s criticism of Lear has grown to a crescendo.