King Lear Essay Family Relationships

King Lear Essay Family Relationships-45
That the story appears in many variants indicates the universality of its appeal, but the emotions it aroused must have been limited largely to common curiosity in verbal puzzles and the pleasure, not confined to children, of discovering that children are more subtle than their parents.

That the story appears in many variants indicates the universality of its appeal, but the emotions it aroused must have been limited largely to common curiosity in verbal puzzles and the pleasure, not confined to children, of discovering that children are more subtle than their parents.

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He may wish, as many lyric poets have wished, to write a drama or a novel, but the story is so distinct from the lyric that few poets, despite a tendency of poets to be expansive in their ambitions, have been eminent in both poetic arts.

Shelley and Keats had a maximum of aspiration but hardly a minimum of gift for plot and character, and even Browning, with his surpassing delineation of men and women in dramatic monologue, could not make anything happen in a drama.

Particular manners of presentation are particular artistic problems, and particular artistic gifts are needed to solve these problems, and, if not, who are those who are both great novelists and great dramatists?

And, more particular still, who among dramatists wrote both great comedies and great tragedies, although tragedy is only drama that moves certain emotions in us?

What is here taken as ultimate in poetry is what is true of all good poems: they give a high order of distinctive pleasures, and it may be said summarily of high and distinctive pleasures that no man seems in danger of exceeding his allotment.

In a way a poet is untroubled about all this—about writing or writing poetry, for these are abstractions that cannot be engaged in, and he is trying to find the first or next word, and after “thick rotundity” he listens to “of” and is troubled, and then hears “o’ ” and so moves on to other troubles, leaving behind him “the thick rotundity o’ th’ world.” In a way, then, even in a long life a poet never writes poetry—just a few poems; and in this sense a poet’s problems do not begin until he closes in upon a piece of paper with something less abstract in mind than writing or writing poetry.As poetic writing is the representing or “making” of human experience, so the poet is the writer who possesses the powers and devices that transfer “life” from flesh to words.These possessions of a poet are not merely a knowledge of “life”; Machiavelli knew much about successful and unsuccessful rulers and wrote , and the few who may are severely limited in freedom of thought, speech, and action.What may happen in a poem must be compatible with the general conditions of “existence” as postulated by the poem; and what actually does happen and the order in which it happens must appear as adequately caused by the constitution of the individual characters and by the circumstances in which they are placed.The same legendary figure may enter two worlds and in the early Elizabethan play may spell his name “Leir” and survive his misfortunes, but, having ventured upon the thick rotundity of Shakespeare’s world, he cannot be saved, and certainly not by the alteration of any neoclassical poet.In only certain senses, then, does Shakespeare forever elude us and refuse to “abide our question,” for, if there are general problems confronting every writer, we should be able to ask questions that Shakespeare of all men made no attempt to elude.At a high level of universality, to write anything well, whether it be intellectual or imaginative, is to assume at least two obligations: to be .Yet these two dramatic arts are so distinctive that Shakespeare is the single answer to the question of what dramatist eminently possessed both the tragic power and the power of moving to laughter.Even more specialized, personal, and unique are the problems to be focused on in this study—what confronted Shakespeare and Lear, who stood outside when a storm arose and a daughter ordered a door shut.In certain ultimate senses the world that is each poem is bound together so that it binds the hearts of those who look upon it, of whom the poet is one.To look upon a poem, then, as distinct from looking upon much of the succession of life, is to be moved, and moved by emotions that, on the whole, attract us to it and are psychologically compatible.

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