Sunday, February 27, 2011

KING LEAR Act III, iv, v, vi, vii Questions

Write coherent answers to these questions and hand them in this Tuesday.
You are invited to discuss these questions here, if you want to. Remember you are supposed to be actively involved in discussion on this site.  
III, iv
1. How does King Lear's reference to the "poor naked wretches" out in the storm reveal he has changed?
2. Who now appears and what does the Fool think he is?
3. How has Edgar/Poor Tom transformed himself and who does he pretend to be?
4. Why does King Lear wish to discourse with Poor Tom, and why is he perceived by the king as so  exemplary?
5. Describe King Lear's awareness of reality at this point in the play.
6. Why has Gloucester come? What does Poor Tom learn from him he didn't know before?
III, v
1. Why does Edmund give Cornwall the letter that was entrusted to him by his father Gloucester?
2. What are the consequences of Edmund's doing this, both for himself and for his father?
III, vi
1. Now that they are inside, what does King Lear in his madness attempt to do?
2. Why do we feel such intense sympathy for Edgar during this scene?
3. How does Gloucester's presence  here advance the narrative and heighten the dramatic tension?
4. How is the cause of justice dramatized in this scene?
5. Why does Edgar have the stage for himself at the end of this scene? What effect is produced by having Edgar speak in rhymed couplets? How does his language sound after everything else we've heard in this scene? 
III, vii
1. Why is Gloucester going to be punished, and how do Regan's and Cornwall's proposed forms of punishment differ?
2. How does Gloucester's "trial" compare to the trial in the previous scene?
3. How do Gloucester's loyal servants intervene in this scene. How might it affect the rivalry between King Lear's ungrateful daughters?
Overview of Act III
1. What literary techniques does Shakespeare use in Act III to propel the narrative forward and to heighten dramatic tension?
2. Why does Shakespeare alternate between King Lear and the happenings at Gloucster's castle throughout this act?

Act IV questions tomorrow.

THE NEAR FUTURE: We will finish King Lear this week, you will be given two tests, and we then start The Odyssey.


  1. It's amazing how Shakespeare jumps back and forth from scene to scene and heightens the dramatic tension each time. He doesn't waste any time and each sentence and each word is used to build the character's emotions and persona. It's shocking how one man was able to create such a masterful piece of literature all by himself like this; especially when no one has ever done something like it. Also, it's interesting how Shakespeare puts a theme on everything and builds around it, making the audience not fully aware of it but has a sense of what is going on and why the characters act the way they do.

  2. I agree with you Brandon. Its also cool that even though there are two story lines they both match up to create one story. I've never read a storyline like this before and io find it quite amazing

  3. In my opinion this play still isn't one of my favorites but i do have to say it is interesting as"Mila" mentioned.

  4. I agree with Jeanette I felt like this was my least favorite scene.