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I Never Would Have Guessed

And Edgar restates the ideology at a crucial moment later in the action. Lear and Cordelia have been defeated by Edmund and the sisters. In a sense, good has been defeated: apocolypse looms. And the death wish resurfaces. 'No further, sir,' says Gloucester, ' a man may rot even here' (V.2.8). To which Edgar replies, 'What! in ill thoughts again?'; and, drawing on an emphatic, gnomic discourse, reiterates the play's position. 'Men must endure,' he says...

Zunder, "Shakespeare and the End of Feudalism..." -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

I know I talked of irony in my last entry, but I feel the need to bring it up again. This time, however, it's on a different topic. I found it ironic how a play in which at least four people die in the final act has the message of "Men must endure." I guess in some strange way, it does make sense. In the face of much death and dispair, it would be easy to just give up. The surviving characters, however, choose to go on, for they must.


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Comments (1)


It seems to me like it should almost be "Humanity must endure," because only a few of the characters continue to endure past the end. Perhaps that's just another way the play points out our mortality.

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