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Synergy I: Marginalisation, Discrimination, Isolation and Existence in Literature

Edited By A.Nejat Töngür and Yıldıray Çevik

Studies on the distinguished works of English and American literature of various genres like poetry, plays and fiction are included in this book focusing on and around the central themes of “Marginalisation, Discrimination, Isolation, and Existence.” The aim of the book is to investigate the issues of “Marginalisation, Discrimination, Isolation, and Existence” within the frameworks of gender, colonization, multiculturalism, religion, race, generation gap, politics, technology, immigration, and class.

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XI: A PROBLEM PLAY: QUESTIONS AND AMBIGUITY IN KING LEAR (Emine Seda ÇAĞLAYAN MAZANOĞLU)

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Emine Seda ÇAĞLAYAN MAZANOĞLU

Abstract: The term ‘problem play’ has been defined by Shakespearean scholars in various ways since the late 19th century. Certain plays by William Shakespeare have been categorised as problem play, and various features of these plays have been studied as the features of problem play. Though King Lear (1605) is not classified as one of Shakespeare’s problem plays, it may be argued that it has features which make it problem play. In this sense, the aim of this paper is to analyse King Lear in terms of problematic political and familial questions it raises and leaves to the interpretation of the audience/readers. It will be argued that Shakespeare presents these questions in the play; however, he does not provide answers to these difficult questions; therefore, it is the responsibility of the audience/readers to deal with and interpret them. It will be demonstrated that the political questions arise from Lear’s early abdication and blind trust in his daughters, Goneril and Regan, while disregarding Cordelia’s and Kent’s loyalty. The familial questions are posed through Lear’s relationship with his daughters, and Gloucester’s relationship with his sons, Edmund and Edgar. Moreover, the generic ambiguity will be analysed, and it will be displayed that though the play is categorised as tragedy, there are instances which ease the tension, and create comic relief. Furthermore, the definitions and categorisations by the Shakespearean critics will be presented to demonstrate the evolution of studies on Shakespeare’s problem plays in the 19th...

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