Inversion as a Literary Device in 'King Lear' Term Paper

Inversion as a Literary Device in 'King Lear'
Examines the literary method used by William Shakespeare in "King Lear" to skillfully maintain the play's tragic mood throughout.
# 92861 | 990 words | 0 sources | 1992 | US
Published on Mar 02, 2007 in Drama and Theater (English) , Literature (English) , English (Analysis) , Shakespeare (King Lear)

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This paper demonstrates Shakespeare's uncanny skill in the use of inversion, as well as his deftness in the sustained use of metaphor. In addition, it illustrates the way in which these two literary devices combine to give his prose the poetic power and vivid emotional impact that enable him to create and maintain the tragic mood of the play. The paper also examines the all-encompassing effect of inversion on the play's major characters and the way in which Shakespeare uses it to advance his dramatic theme
Paper Outline:
Inversion Sets the Stage
Tragic Irony Reigns Supreme
A World Turned Upside Down

From the Paper:

"In the play's opening scene, King Lear sets the mechanism of inversion in motion by dividing his kingdom between his evil daughters, Regan and Goneril, disowning his good daughter, Cordelia, and banishing his loyal servant, Kent. In so doing, he "divests" himself of those persons who represent goodness, honesty, loyalty, and nobility (Cordelia and Kent--though Kent later returns disguised as Caius) and those things which represent dignity, power, security, and prosperity (his kingdom, rule, wealth, position). At the same time, he "invests" his authority and substance in those individuals who symbolize greed, malice, insincerity, deviousness, insensitivity, disloyalty, ungratefulness, disrespect (Goneril, Regan, and Cornwall), and moral weakness (Albany)."

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