Event Title

Thinking about Malory: The Edmund-Mordred Parallel in Shakespeare's King Lear

Presenter Information

Hayden Clement, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor

Matthew Fike, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

English

Location

DiGiorgio Campus Center, Room 220

Start Date

24-4-2015 1:50 PM

Description

This paper contributes to the source study of Shakespeare’s King Lear (1605), which critics such as Cherrell Guilfoyle, Harry Rusche, Samuel T. Coleridge, Waldo McNeir, and Richard Matthews have explored. Left under-explored in Shakespeare’s debt to Malory’s romance Le Morte d’Arthur (1485), however, is Edmund’s relationship to Mordred and Gawayne. This paper uses common themes – nature, primogeniture, pride, love, justice, and fate – to argue that Edmund undergoes a transformation from Mordred-like ambition to Gawayne-like redemption. Besides Shakespeare’s direct allusions to Malory’s text, Edmund resembles Mordred in having a troubled relationship with his father and brother. But by embracing regret, Edmund aligns himself more with the good brother, Gawayne, who eschews pride, embraces humility, and seeks redemption. As a result, Edmund comes to terms with his disenfranchised state as an illegitimate younger brother and submits to the justice of his fate.

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Apr 24th, 1:50 PM

Thinking about Malory: The Edmund-Mordred Parallel in Shakespeare's King Lear

DiGiorgio Campus Center, Room 220

This paper contributes to the source study of Shakespeare’s King Lear (1605), which critics such as Cherrell Guilfoyle, Harry Rusche, Samuel T. Coleridge, Waldo McNeir, and Richard Matthews have explored. Left under-explored in Shakespeare’s debt to Malory’s romance Le Morte d’Arthur (1485), however, is Edmund’s relationship to Mordred and Gawayne. This paper uses common themes – nature, primogeniture, pride, love, justice, and fate – to argue that Edmund undergoes a transformation from Mordred-like ambition to Gawayne-like redemption. Besides Shakespeare’s direct allusions to Malory’s text, Edmund resembles Mordred in having a troubled relationship with his father and brother. But by embracing regret, Edmund aligns himself more with the good brother, Gawayne, who eschews pride, embraces humility, and seeks redemption. As a result, Edmund comes to terms with his disenfranchised state as an illegitimate younger brother and submits to the justice of his fate.