Question- Is King LEar a tragic tale of redemption or one who's final mood is one of pessimism? (8 mins).
Critics tend to be divided on their responses to and opinions of Shakespeare's King Lear. Its complexity and somewhat ambiguity has hailed it a play unable to be staged.
Ladies and Gentleman, Teachers and University Students who have assisted in the rewriting of the new Senior English Syllabus, I, Sarah Robinson, president of the English Teachers Association, welcome you today to the University of New South Wales" forum. .
You may be asking yourselves why begin this forum on King Lear? The controversy relating to the interpretation of its conclusion titillates academics like ourselves questioning, "Is King Lear a tragic tale of redemption, or a work whose final mood is one of pessimism?" What is your stance?.
Perhaps I could ask you to suspend your judgements until the end of my lecture to weigh your opinion in light of well-known literary critics both ancient and modern such as Aristotle, A.C. Bradley and Phillipa Kelly.
King Lear is a metaphorical description of one man's journey through living hell in order to expiate his sin. A redemption Lear does or does not achieve is open to personal interpretation. In order to understand the King's redemption, if at all one exists, one must determine what the King needs redeeming of. Once this sin is established, an analysis can be made whether the King is redeemed, how, and why. Lear obliquely uses a "blind eye" towards his folly of banishing his most honest daughter Cordelia, and consequently desires to be redeemed. Alternatively, by Shakespeare writing the protagonist's deaths in the end, does he propose the audience's final mood to be one of pessimism?.
In light of this bleak conclusion, firstly we must decide whether Shakespeare intended audiences to finally address his play as a tragedy or disaster.
No doubt by now you"d be familiar with Bradley.