5 practical tips on writing King Lear critical essay by yourself
If you want to answer an essay question about King Lear, there are 2 things you must scrutinize: The type of essay i.e. analysis of various relationships, factual recall, principles synthesis, opinion; and what details to include.
- Carefully read all instructions two or three times. Highlight the main terms and figure out the strategy to use when answering e.g. compare and contrast, definition, problem-solution, or cause and effect. Be sure what type of essay you will be writing.
- Compose a brief outline of major points. Determine the number of paragraphs the essay needs.
- In the first paragraph, use a thesis statement to answer the question.
- Use the appropriate academic writing rules. Be cautious of such things as the font, indentation, margins, and the general structure of the paper. Every paragraph should start with a topic statement followed by valid examples and finally a strong claim. Correct punctuation must be used throughout.
- Re-read the answers and check for any mistakes or omissions.
King Lear essay prompts
King Lear wants his three daughters to inherit his kingdom. He has a favorite daughter (Cordelia) whom he promises to give the biggest part of his kingdom. The rest, Regan and Goneril, are deceitful and conniving. However, he later disowns Cordelia who was honest with him.
- What is the role of women in the play?
Women are portrayed as powerful, ruthless, and aggressive. They seem to be more violent than men. Unlike Cordelia who is loyal and unselfish, her sisters are violent, conspiratorial, and strong. The two villain sisters are just like their father who is proud, arrogant, and short-tempered.
- Describe how madness and blindness relate in the play
There are two characters who undergo a lot of suffering in the play: Lear and Gloucester. They share similar tribulations but Lear gets mad while Gloucester stays blind but normal. The two were able to see things more clearly after losing their faculties and sunk into desperation just before dying.
- What is the symbolism of the storm in Act 3?
It represents restlessness and inner turmoil inside Lear’s mind. The storm, as a natural phenomenon, cannot be controlled even by the King himself. He tried to challenge it but to no avail hence he realized that he is a mortal being. It is also an emblem of divine justice.
These are some questions students should expect in essays about King Lear.