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- DescriptionWhat is King Lear about? What is it that breaks down in Lear? How important are the gods? How Christian is Lear? What do we make of Bedlam Tom's gibberish? Why is Edgar so important? To what extent is Nature being questioned? How does Shakespeare show us a world reduced to thing ? Does the play undermine language itself? How sympathetic is Shakespeare's treatment of women in Lear? Where does Lear leave us in the end? How does Lear look forward to Beckett and the Theatre of the Absurd? The horrors of King Lear appalled Dr Johnson and exasperated A.C. Bradley, the most influential of all commentators on Shakespeare. Yet, like subsequent critics, they could t deny the play's greatness. For all his reservations Bradley conceded that it was the fullest revelation of Shakespeare's power - up there with Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound, Dante's Divine Comedy, Beethoven's symphonies and Michelangelo's statues. With his customary eloquence and passion, the distinguished critic Valentine Cunningham shows what it is that Shakespeare is driving at in Lear and how this extraordinary tragedy about a foolish old king who goes mad leads directly to Samuel Beckett and the Theatre of the Absurd.
- Author BiographyValentine Cunningham is Professor of English Language and Literature, Oxford University, and Senior Fellow in English Literature, Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He has reviewed widely on literary topics, given many BBC radio talks on literary and musicological issues, lectured extensively around the world on literary and literary-historical issues, has been a Visiting Professor of Literature in the USA, Canada, Australia, and Germany, and judged many literary prizes, including The Man-Booker Prize (twice). His books include Everywhere Spoken Against: Dissent in the Victorian Novel (1975), British Writers of the Thirties (1988), In the Reading Gaol: (Post)modernity, Texts, and History (1994), Reading After Theory ( 2002), and Victorian Poetry Now: Poets, Poems, Poetics (2011). His editions include The Penguin Book of Spanish War Verse (1980), Spanish Front: Writers on the Civil War (1986), and The Victorians: An Anthology of Poetry and Poetics (2000).
- Author(s)Valentine Cunningham
- PublisherConnell Guides
- Date of Publication30/09/2012
- Place of PublicationLondon
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintConnell Guides
- Content Noteillustrations
- Width110 mm
- Height172 mm
- Spine10 mm
- Edited byJolyon Connell
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