Monstrous Hybrids in Shakespeare’s King Lear

Abstract : This article seeks to present the different languages (emblems, Renaissance translations of classical myths, biblical exegesis) that inform the images of monsters which, as hybrid creatures blending human and animal characteristics, serve a dramatic function in Shakespeare’s King Lear. It means to question the ways in which the play links filial ingratitude with female monstrosity and Lear’s madness. Tracing the classical and medieval lineage of the monstrous bestiary (serpent, tiger, vulture) in King Lear and connecting it to emblematic readings of Shakespeare’s time, it explores how Shakespeare provides a dynamic characterisation of Goneril and Regan through their bestialisation. This study of teratogenesis then questions the notion of metamorphoses in the play.
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Contributor : Agnès Lafont <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, February 7, 2017 - 11:11:02 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 9:50:12 AM


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Agnès Lafont. Monstrous Hybrids in Shakespeare’s King Lear. Imago. Revista de Emblemática y cultura visual, 2016. ⟨halshs-01459145⟩



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