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The pre-Christian setting of the play presents the perfect background for an allusion to the ancient god; the Green Man lends a cohesive thread to the depiction of a wild world barren of God's saving grace. And yet, for those who support the optimistic theory, if Lear does portray the Green Man in act 4, this allusion actually heightens the drama of his spiritual salvation in the conclusion. For Lear would have come full circle indeed, from a representation of an earthy, pagan god to an image of a redeemed man.

Kennedy, "Shakespare's King Lear" -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

I found this to be interesting. I'll admit that I would have never thought of King Lear in this way without help from this article. I'll also admit that some of this went over my head. I've never heard of the Green Man before, so this was a completely new concept. I'm glad that Kennedy included an explanation of the Green Man, otherwise I would have been completely lost. I would have to agree with Kennedy that this fact would heighten the drama of salvation.


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