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King Lear

By the end of Act I in King Lear, everything is well on its way to serious disorder.
1. What is the basis of this disorder?
2. What is Shakespeare's purpose in disorder?
3. What do you think the play seems to imply about politics, feudalism, and power in England?
4. What does the play imply about family dynamics?
5. How do order and chaos reveal the "truth" of our existence?

Solution Preview

1. It would seem the basis of this disorder has quite a bit to do with deception, greed, and impatience. In the case of King Lear, his eldest daughters are plotting to take away all power and authority remaining to their father, even after he has divided the lands between them. Lear has left his youngest daughter out of the inheritance, though his trusted nobleman Kent disagrees with Lear's decision. In the case of Gloucester, he has two sons, though one, Edmund, is considered a "bastard", and is not being raised by Gloucester. Edmund, filled with anger and hatred, plots against the legitimate son, ...