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King Lear: Fortunes' Fool

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Mishal Khan

on 7 November 2012

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Transcript of King Lear: Fortunes' Fool

Mishal Khan King Lear: Fortunes' Fool Agenda

1. Song Wheel of Fortune
2. Introduction. What is the Wheel of Fortune?
3. Class Activity. - Vote and Brief Discussion
4. Thesis/ Outline
5. Arguments
6. Conclusion Introduction What is the Wheel of Fortune?
A device that Shakespeare used and that we use to explain the turn of events - the rise and fall of characters.
Who is Dame Fortune?
"Representations of Fortune showed her as a beguiling woman presiding over a spinning circle or wheel on which one's fortunes would rise and fall in conjunction with the unpredictable forces of chance, accident, and occasion. The concepts of fate and fortune have also been interpreted as one's inexorable destiny, quite simply as the end result of divine providence, or more problematically in the context of human free will." (Lee) In the beginning _________, _________, and _______ were at the top of the wheel of fortune. While ________, ________ and ________ were at the bottom. So what do you think?

Are they all fortunes fools?
or
Not?
Do the characters control their own actions and blame fortune on them all? Everything that happens in King Lear is a result of the wheel turning. The heroes and villains are bound by the wheel, the wheel affects their decisions, their behavior and the outcome. Works Cited

George Manon University. "Open Source Shakespeare." Web. 6 Nov. 2012 <http://www.opensourceshakespeare.org/search/search-results.php>.

Lee, Michelle. "Fate and Fortune." Shakespearean Criticism. Ed. Vol. 81. Detroit: Gale, 2004. Literature Resource Center. Web. 6 Nov. 2012.

Shakespeare, William. "King Lear." Harcourt Canada. 2nd edition. 2001. Print. 6 Nov. 2012





The King of France decided to make Cordelia his wife without a dowry while Burgundy would not do so.

"Let your study
Be to content your lord, who hath receiv'd you
At fortune's alms. You have obedience scanted,
And well are worth the want that you have wanted."
(Act 1 Scene 1 Lines 301-304)

Here is a hint: Shakespeares often put double meanings behind his words.
King Lear disowns Cordelia and banishes Kent.

Why, fare thee well, King. Sith thus thou wilt appear,
Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here.
(Act 1 Scene 1 Lines 183-184)

Here is a hint: When the wheel of fortune spins do we have control? Does Lear have control? Quick Analysis:
Burgundy did not take Cordelia because there was no dowry.
The King of France decided to take her, which Cordelia's sister said was an act of charity.
The Wheel of Fortune is spining. Freedom has been banished from the kingdom.
Lear did not have control over his decisions.
The Wheel of Fortune is spinning. Now its your turn what other decisions were made because of the spinning of the wheel of fortune.
Behaviour O, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven! Keep me in temper; I would not be mad. (Act 1 Scene 5 Lines 44-45) King Lear is now realizing that he is going mad. He makes a plea to fortune something that characters in this play often do. Lets look at a few examples. " Fortune, good night, smile once more, turn thy wheel." (Act 2 Scene 2 Line 169) "Fortune that arrant whore, Ne'ever turns the key to the poor." (Act 2 Scene 4 Lines 52-53) "He that has and a tiny little wit, with hey, ho the wind and the rain. Must make content with his fortunes fit." (Act 3 Scene 2 Lines 74-76) "How malicous is my fortune that I must repent to be just..." (Act 3 Scene 5 Lines 8-9) Young Anna: OMG!!!!! Young Nemo: What's up??? Young Anna: Its "Dame " Fortune. She is ruining everything. She spun her little wheel and

and destroyed everything. The mean girls kicked their dad out and started fighting over some cute guy. Young Nemo: What guy Young Anna: Anyways the mean girls ended up dying one from poison and the other killed herself. Gloucester, the cute guys dad died as well. So did, Cordelia and her dad. Young Nemo: I still love you. In conclusion, the entire play is determined by the spinning of the wheel of fortune. We know this through the decisions that the characters make, their behaviour and the outcome of the play. "The Wheel is Come Full Circle." (Act 5 Scene 3 174-175)
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