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19. Act 4, Scene 6: The Cliff
About this Lecture
In this module, we read through the first third of Act 4, Scene 6, in which Edgar pretends to take Gloucester to the cliffs of Dover. In particular, we think about the multitude of characters and voices that Edgar must adopt in this scene and the question of why Edgar describes the figure at the top of the cliff as a having “a thousand noses, horns whelked and waved like the enraged sea”.
In this twenty-five part course, Professor John McRae (University of Nottingham) explores Shakespeare’s King Lear. We begin with a broad introduction to the historical, political and intellectual context of early 17th-century England. After that, we go through the play scene by scene, providing close reading and detailed analysis, with commentary on character, plot, themes and motifs, language, symbolism – and more.
We use the Arden (Third Series) edition of the play. Students using a different edition of the play may encounter slight differences in both the text and line numbers.
John McRae is Special Professor of Language in Literature Studies and Teaching Associate in the School of English at Nottingham University, and holds Visiting Professorships in China, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. He is co-author of The Routledge History of Literature in English with Ron Carter, and also wrote The Language of Poetry, Literature with a Small 'l' and the first critical edition of Teleny by Oscar Wilde and others.
Cite this Lecture
McRae, J. (2019, February 26). Shakespeare: King Lear - Act 4, Scene 6: The Cliff [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/shakespeare-king-lear-john-mcrae/act-4-scene-6-the-cliff
McRae, J. "Shakespeare: King Lear – Act 4, Scene 6: The Cliff." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 26 Feb 2019, https://massolit.io/courses/shakespeare-king-lear-john-mcrae/act-4-scene-6-the-cliff