English 366B, Section S02
: Shakespeare's Histories and Tragedies >
: Notes (1)
King Lear: The exposition
The main plot
The opening: quiet chat, information about both plots (1.1.1-33).
The love-auction: Goneril, Regan -- and Cordelia (1.1.51ff).
Kent as chorus figure: "banishment is here" (1.1.184).
A second love-test: France and Burgundy (1.1.194-266).
The remaining daughters resolve to "hit" ("sit?") together (1.1.306).
The sub-plot: Gloucester and his sons
"Now, Gods, stand up for bastards": who and what is Nature (2.1.1-22)?
Doing "what comes naturally" -- instinctive?
Doing what is "natural," in the sense of ideal nature (it is natual for a child to love its parent).
Blaming the stars, mocking the stars--Gloucester (1.2.106-20) and Edmund (121-37).
What are our sympathies, both here and in the main plot?
This page last updated on 28 December 2006. © Michael Best, 2006.