Need help with my writing homework on Summary of Joyce Carol Oates’s Is This the Promised End. Write a 500 word paper answering; Summary of Joyce Carol Oates’s “Is This the Promised End In the article under analysis Joyce Carol Oates proposes a unique interpretation of the tragedy unveiling deep psychological and moral experience of the main characters. The author states that the awakening of the King is closely connected with self-understanding and self-clarification of his personality. The thesis of the article is that the King Lear is caught between “self” and “other”, the finite and the infinite, and only the ability to overcome these psychological states helps him to see the eternal truth. King Lear is hooked by his own imagination, and hidden psychological problems. He could not rely on his common sense and did not see the difference between real and unreal world. The author connects the tragedy with transcendence as the main driven force of the tragedy itself. Joyce Carol Oates uses oppositions to unveil transformations in Lear’s personality: real vs unreal, “self” vs “other”, flesh vs soul, which “poetically symbolized by a union of male and female elements” (Oates, 1974). The notion of grace is opposed to masculine tyranny of Lear. Cordelia is the bearer of “grace” embodied in her personality. A special attention is devoted to historical process as the tool of dramatization depicting that the world exists in history.
The main questions arisen from this essay are: Is it necessary to Lear to become insane What is the role of transcendence in the tragedy Is “King Lear” really a tragedy or triumph of justice For Lear, It is necessary to become insane because only in this state he can achieve spirituality and distinguish between “self” and “other. His insanity is a journey into self. Shaking up a thinker involves demolishing his reliance on “common sense”, but common sense is not a quality of heroes, and Lear cannot achieve his status as a hero within a system linked to it. Transcendence helps to retrieve great knowledge which most of people fail to see, and unveils that people and the characters live in a structured world, which they unable to change. “King Lear” is a tragedy, but the message of this play can be interpreted as a triumph of justice and punishment for Lear’s blindness and deafness towards Cordelia. Freedom is the goal of quasi-reality, and amounted to a more or less complete absence of control over the activities of individuals. Tragedy can be viewed as a conceptual type which means understanding life experience of one human in terms of life experience of another one.
1. Reading the piece and underlining the main ideas in the text
2. Finding the main message of the text
3. Interpreting the main ideas and applying them to the characters
4. Analysis and synthesis of the main ideas
5. Personal reflection
“King Lear” embodies the previous philosophical knowledge, archetypes and paradigms which uncover the essence of our existence and roots of eternal truth such as justice and morality. The example of King Lear depicts that everything around us has such binary oppositions as good-evil, chaos-order, hell-paradise, etc. Probably, the fact that Lear’s personality is based on binary opposition helps readers to recognize themselves in the character of Lear. Primarily, the characters in “King Lear” are represented as archetypes. For instance, an archetype of Lear embodies the features of humans who “blind” and unable to see the truth. The most difficult was to single out the main ideas, because there are a lot of detailed information which is essential for understanding and text analysis.
In general, this project helps to understand actions of the characters and their inner state. it provides a very useful psychological analysis of the characters and allows readers to look at Lear’s actions from philosophical point of view instead of traditional interpretation based on moral values and family relations. This project helps to understand that human beings have an instinct or a drive toward what is real which is impeded by the barriers of nature and custom. This essay teaches that a person cannot avoid punishment because everything in our life is predetermined and get balanced according to universal laws which sometimes seem absurd and odd for people. For instance the death of Cordelia is a punishment for Lear, even if the price is too high. This project helps to remember the play better forcing readers to analyze and apply new concepts to the play and the characters.
1. Oates, J. C. Is This the Promised End” The Tragedy of King Lear (Abridged). Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Fall 1974.