King Lear as a reflection of the Jacobean Context 11th Grade
If you used the word faggot in Shakespeare’s time; you wouldn’t be called a homophobe, you’d simply be referring to a bundle of sticks. If you considered women less capable than men; you wouldn’t be called a misogynist, you’d be a Jacobean realist. If you believed the leader of the nation to be God’s rightfully appointed hand on earth; you wouldn’t be considered insane or even unusual. When it comes to understanding; context is everything, and King Lear is undoubtedly a timeless reflection of the Jacobean era for which it was composed. By employing dramatic techniques to intertwine the notions of justice, identity, and fate with contextual elements unique to his time and audience, Shakespeare reflected the true nature of the Jacobean world that he and his audiences lived and breathed. Through this interlinking of the broader human experience with era-dependant contextual notions, Shakespeare not only engages audiences across vastly contrasted time periods, but further allows us to understand the context that shaped King Lear, and ultimately challenges the modern audience to consider the true extent to which their understanding not only of the text, but of the world, is coloured by their own individual contextual lens.
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