English419McLuskie - Edmund St Gumdrop English 419 Article Analysis Misogyny or Mishap McLuskie's article The Patriarchal Bard attempts to convince

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Edmund St. Gumdrop English 419 Article Analysis Misogyny or Mishap? McLuskie’s article, The Patriarchal Bard , attempts to convince its readers that the action of the play (that is to say the rapid dissolution of a normal society into stormy chaos) is meant to showcase the horrors of patriarchy undone, not through the work of individual villainy, but the entire female gender. The play is a misogynistic romp that never ends, not even with the critically acclaimed “redeemer” of womankind, Cordelia. Cordelia’s function in the play is not to act as the redeemer of femininity, but rather to simply help restore the “natural” patriarchy that existed before Lear’s ill-fated experiment in matriarchal government. Though King Lear definitely deals with issues of misogyny, I would not go so far as to say the play possesses an “explicitly misogynistic emphasis” as McLuskie claims. I believe the text is far more complex than a simple exercise in misogyny, and while the upset of the father-daughter power structure is meant to be evoke “pity and fear” from the audience, the chaos of Lear is more the result of the blindness and paranoia of the powerful. McLuskie stakes heavy claim in the changes Shakespeare made in his adaptation of the story of King Leir, focusing primarily on the text itself and the differences between it and
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This essay was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course ENGL 419 taught by Professor Neely during the Spring '06 term at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

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English419McLuskie - Edmund St Gumdrop English 419 Article Analysis Misogyny or Mishap McLuskie's article The Patriarchal Bard attempts to convince

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