Essay on Midterm Short Answer Questions

Review King Lear 3.2,3.4,4.6, and describe the landscape or setting of the actions in these scenes. Give evidence and backup your answers with citations from the play.

Act 3 Scene 2 has a gloomy landscape and setting since the scene takes place during the storm and Lear is wandering in the nature cursing the weather and his two daughters. The scene conveys the despair of Lear and his desperate position as the King has no shelter in the stormy weather.

Act 3 Scene 4 takes place near the hovel, where the Fool attempts to lead Lear in. However, the latter refuses to enter hovel being in a hard mental condition, even though there is a storm outside. Instead, Lear kneels and prays. The setting is stormy, dark and cold and the situation gets even worse, when the Fool brings disguised Edgar from the hovel, who is naked and pretends to be a mad beggar, who used to be rich, while Lear gives his last clothes to Edgar in disguise.

Act 4 Scene 6 has the changing setting which shifts from the Dover cliff to the plain. The Dover Cliff is the place where Gloucester attempts to commit a suicide but fails. Then he and Edgar descend to the plain, where Lear encounters them and ends up the scene with the tirade against women and sexuality.

Is the Duchess of Malfi, a misogynistic play or a play that raises a female character to a heroic status?

The Duchess of Malfi may be viewed as a play that raises the female character to a heroic status, although the main character of the play, the Duchess rather turns out to be the victim of male scheming and plots than an independent character, who acts like a hero. As the matter of fact, she has little option to choose from. The main act that may be viewed as heroic is her disobedience to her brothers after the death of her husband. At this point, it is important to take into consideration the historical background and traditions of that time to understand why her disobedience was heroic. She lived in the society, where women had no rights or liberties. As a rule, they were obedient and followed the lead of men. The refusal of the Duchess to obey to the will of her brothers made her a rebel against the dominant social norms and rules. On the other hand, she disobeyed because of her love to Antonio, the man that implies the leading part of the man in her decision to rebel and to disobey to her brothers. Nevertheless, the Duchess was heroic because she rebelled being aware of possible consequences and, thus, sacrificed her life for the sake of her love.

Paradise Lost, Book 1

How does Milton make sure that readers understand that Satan is the villain even though he seems to be heroic in some parts? Describe Satan\’s heroic features but give examples why he is not.

Satan becomes the primary cause of the man’s fall. On the one hand, Satan attempts to present this act as his great achievement and the heroic act of revolt against the God’s will. On the other hand, he does not act directly. Instead, he prefers to use the Serpent as the puppet to seduce the man and to make him disobedient to God. Hence, Satan is probably afraid of disobeying to God and acting openly.

Furthermore, Satan pretends to be the leader of the fallen Angels, he comforts them and promises regaining Heaven. However, he soon shifts to other promises of the new world that implies his inability to lead Angels to regain Heaven. Therefore, even though Satan pretends to be the leader of the fallen agent and the heroic rebel, he is still afraid of taking the lead and heading the fallen Angels to the open fight against God for Heaven. Instead, he prefers to calm down the fallen Angels promising them a new, better world. In such a way, he escapes the necessity to rebel and to fight openly against God and preserves control and leadership over the fallen Angels, who keep being confident in him.



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