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Symbolism and Animal Imagery in King Lear

by us. (you know who we are)
by

Hailey Watkins

on 18 October 2012

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Transcript of Symbolism and Animal Imagery in King Lear

In King Lear By: Mac, Hailey, and Kathryn The Storm Symbolism and Animal Imagery The storm is a symbol of the anguish and chaos experienced in the play by Lear and Britain as an entirety "Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire, are my daughters. I tax you not, you elements, with unkindness. I never gave you kingdom, called you children, you owe me no subscription." (3.2. 15-18) Blindness The blindness as a whole is a symbol of each characters failures to see the hidden reality. "O my follies! Then Edgar was abused. Kind gods, forgive me that, and prosper him!" (3.7.104) It is ironic that Gloucester, now blind, can see the truth behind Edmund's plot, and Edgar's innocence in revealed. Animal Imagery Shakespeare uses an ample amount of animal imagery to portray the characteristics of the villains and give a comparative source to refer to. Albany refers to Goneril and Regan as tigers "Tigers, not daughters, what have you performed?"
(4.2. 45) Lear's inner anguish Pathetic Fallacy Chaos in the kingdom Crumbling of family ties Cruelty of the villains Karma Storm dispersion = Revelations Gloucester deceived by Edmund Edgar deceived by Edmund "I have no way, therefore want no eyes. I stumbled when I saw." (4.1.21) Lear blind to false love Lear naive to daughters plots Ignorant to struggles of common men - Selfish "I have taken too little care of this." "Detested kite! Thou Liest!" (1.4. 254) "When she shall hear this of thee, with her nails she'll flay thy wolvish visage.(1.4. 301) Lear accuses Goneril of possessing a wolf-like appearance. Lear calls Goneril a kite, which is another word for vulture or bird of prey. "Should have thus little mercy on their flesh? Judicious punishment! 'Twas tis flesh begot those pelican daughters." (3.4. 72-74) Lear is assimilating his daughters with pelicans. What is a symbol? A symbol is something that represents an idea, a process, or a physical entity. The purpose of a symbol is to communicate meaning. In Conclusion.....
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