"King Lear" and Female Disorder Book Review by english777

"King Lear" and Female Disorder
An analysis of the theme of female sexuality in William Shakespeare's "King Lear".
# 91507 | 1,948 words | 9 sources | MLA | 2007 | US
Published on Jan 24, 2007 in English (Analysis) , Shakespeare (King Lear)

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This paper discusses how, when King Lear abdicates the throne and invests his daughters with power, he unwittingly ushers in disorder, chaos and discord and how the language used unequivocally conveys turmoil inflicted by the female. Goneril and Regan are ambitious, unscrupulous, they precipitate unrest and perpetrate violence. It looks at how the discomposed state in the kingdom, in the family and in the individual is gendered female where Shakespeare depicts the frequent disorganization and distempers as originating in the woman. It also discusses how witches, perverse goddesses, omens of ill-portent are images employed by Shakespeare to further illustrate and impress the state of anarchy and the reign of abomination.

From the Paper:

"Sexual disorder and sexual immorality in Lear are more ascribed to the female. The whore and the adulteress are dissolute women given to desire and lust - objectionable qualities in women. Gloucester proudly boasts that Edmund's mother was a whore who gives birth to a deviant, bastard child. Goneril refuses to accommodate Lear's one hundred knights for she fears that the palace be degraded to a "brothel". This opinion is loaded with irony since she prostitutes herself for power and later for her paramour, Edmund. The palace is already tainted with whoredom. Blind Fortune who curses and dooms the downtrodden at her very caprice is called "that arrant whore who ne'er turns the key to the poor". Likewise Cordelia calls blind Fortune "False Fortune" which signifies that she is an adulteress who is unfaithful to her conjugal pledge. "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Chapman, George. Essays on Shakespeare. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1965
  • Colie, Rosalie. Some facets of King Lear: Essays in prismatic criticism. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1974.
  • Cox, Catherine. An Excellent Thing In Woman: Virago and Virgo in King Lear, 1997 <http://www.jstor.org/>
  • Gaul, Marilyn. Love and Order in King Lear, 1995 <http://www.jstor.org/>
  • Hobson, Alan. Full Circle: Shakespeare and Moral Development. New York. Barnes and Nobles Inc., 1972

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

"King Lear" and Female Disorder (2007, January 24) Retrieved May 26, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/king-lear-and-female-disorder-91507/

MLA Format

""King Lear" and Female Disorder" 24 January 2007. Web. 26 May. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/king-lear-and-female-disorder-91507/>