2015 Student Research Conference:
28th Annual Student Research Conference

The Stripping of a King: The Dichotomy of Superficiality and Substance in King Lear
Amberlain L. Nielson
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

In Shakespeares King Lear, Lears vestments represent his power and his ego, masking his desire for external validation. As the play progresses, he is simultaneously stripped of his clothing and his sanity. The slow unraveling of the king culminates with the last unbuttoning of his shirt moments before his death, symbolizing that he is at last able to see his fatal character flaw: blindness to the substance of others. This essay will explain how clothing and nakedness are the physical manifestation of King Lears spiritual blindness and his inability to distinguish between the shallowness and substance of those around him.

Keywords: King Lear, Shakespeare, blindness, Shallowness, Substance

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 401-3
Location: MG 1000
Time: 3:00

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