Document Type


Publication Date



In King Lear, the English law of madness, especially the aspects of testamentary devises, royal accession, waste, and plunder, is thematized in such a way that the conflict between civil order and savage nature is brought to the foreground. This dynamic overshadows, and to some extent disguises what truly lies at the heart of ancient Britain’s woes: a deficit of ontological self-inquiry on the part of the sovereign and his royal retainer, Gloucester, from which all of the other complications ensue.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.