Chapter

The Conspiracy of Realism: Impasse and Vision in <i>The Faerie Queene</i> and Shakespeare's <i>King Lear</i>

Judith H. Anderson

in Reading the Allegorical Intertext

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780823228478
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241125 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823228478.003.0014
The Conspiracy of Realism: Impasse and Vision in The Faerie Queene and Shakespeare's King Lear

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The relation of Shakespeare's King Lear to allegory has remained an elusive topic. Two of the older critics of Shakespeare, Watkins and Bradley, seem to think of allegory almost exclusively in the limiting context of characterization in King Lear, rather than in terms of plot or narrative process of the play. Mack also invokes the idea of allegory to explain characterization in King Lear but does so only to distance the opprobrious word allegorical. Mack's and Bradley-Watkin's concept in describing one who is conceived allegorically, whether it is naturalistically or not, gives an insight into characterization in King Lear, and together they cast light on the various characters assembled in the play better than either does alone. Instances of both concepts can be found together in an allegory like The Faerie Queene.

Keywords: allegory; Shakespeare; characterization; King Lear; plot; characters; The Faerie Queene

Chapter.  7902 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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