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King Lear Essay Outline

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Essay Outline: King Lear

Intro Paragraph

Intro statements: The theory of Marxism was created by philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. They created a theory about how there is a great difference in societal classes and that there was exploitation and alienation of the workers, or proletariats, by the high class known as the bourgeoisie. This theory was called Marxist theory, and it can apply to many stories that have been written in the past and present, like Shakespeare's King Lear. King Lear can be represented with feminist and Freudian theories; however Marxist theory is the underlying base that the rest of this story is built upon. The story is about an outdated feudal system that becomes questioned and challenged by a new economic system that brings equality for the poor and working class.

Thesis: Marxist theory can be used to analyze Edmund because he is the character that has been "cheated" out of his royalties and he is struggling to try and climb to the top of the ladder of economic classes where he believes he deserves to be. Also the differences in classes cause jealousy in characters that can only be fixed by filling it with power, no matter how it is achieved. Therefore, the author uses the difference in classes to create conflicts for the characters in the story, one being Edmund, to illustrate the problems that arise between bourgeoisie and the proletariat.

Arg1: Edmund's awareness of how unfair the system is that doesn't award a more intelligent intellect from enjoying the perks of the economy and his inheritance of royalty because he is illegitimate.

Arg2: Edmund's jealousy of his brother's inherited and undeserving power causes him to frame his brother and lie to his father, showing how the difference in classes cause problems for even family members.

Body 1

Topic: Shakespeare depicts Marxist theory in King Lear when he shows how Edmund does not inherit any of his father's wealth or royalties because he was had illegitimately, showing how Edmund is a representation of the proletariat class of society.

Ex1 and quote: In the story, Edmund believes that he has been wronged of his rightful inheritance because he is a bastard, "Got tween asleep to the bastard Edmund...stand up for bastards!" (1.2.15-20)

Explanation: Edmund feels that he deserves the inheritance of his legitimate brother Edgar and wants to take it from him by any means, which shows how the proletariat are portrayed as wanting to be part of the bourgeoisie but cant because of what they are born into.

Ex2 and quote: Edmund also depicts how he is much more intelligent than everyone else around him, "This is the excellent...twinkled on my bastardizing." (1.2.118-133)

Explanation: This quote shows how Edmund uses his intellect to fool his father, depicting that the proletariat are smarter and wittier than the stuck-up bourgeoisie. It also shows that no matter how deserving, the proletariat, in most cases, stay where they are in the societal class ranking.

Concluding sentence:



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