Tragedy Essay Title

King Lear and the Genre of Tragedy Essay

960 Words4 Pages

A tragedy is a genre typically defined as a play that deals with a series of events that lead to the downfall of the hero. Written between 1604 and 1606, ‘King Lear’ falls into the genre of tragedy, depicting the destruction and downfall of the main character (Abrams). The play centres on Lear, an aging king who, in his retirement, decides to divide his kingdom between his three daughters while retaining the title and privileges of being king. However, King Lear’s actions lead to the destruction of his family, tearing up his kingdom and creating a war. ‘King Lear’ is a tragedy as it follows the codes and conventions generally associated with the genre. The hero and main protagonist, King Lear, is an influential, highborn character. This…show more content…

A tragedy is a genre typically defined as a play that deals with a series of events that lead to the downfall of the hero. Written between 1604 and 1606, ‘King Lear’ falls into the genre of tragedy, depicting the destruction and downfall of the main character (Abrams). The play centres on Lear, an aging king who, in his retirement, decides to divide his kingdom between his three daughters while retaining the title and privileges of being king. However, King Lear’s actions lead to the destruction of his family, tearing up his kingdom and creating a war. ‘King Lear’ is a tragedy as it follows the codes and conventions generally associated with the genre. The hero and main protagonist, King Lear, is an influential, highborn character. This character, although virtuous, has a fatal flaw that leads to his demise (Shakespeare.nuvvo.com). It is Lear’s character in combination with the themes of conflict, power, family and forgiveness that make ‘King Lear’ a tragedy.

‘King Lear’ is a character driven play. As the main character, it is Lear’s decisions that affect those around him. Lear himself is stubborn, proud and is often blind to the truth. Because of this, it is made clear that Lear values appearance over reality, thus showing how the character and flaws of the character contribute to and further the conflict within the play (A TEACHER’S GUIDE TO THE SIGNET CLASSIC EDITION OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S KING LEAR). One of the biggest scenes based on conflict that supports this is

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An effective research paper title will

  • identify the limited subject of the essay, and
  • the position the paper takes on the subject.

It may also be useful to grab the reader’s interest with a brief quote or detail, but if your goal is to persuade your reader, your title will also need to inform.

Your title is your first opportunity to persuade your reader. Don’t waste it.

Essay 1
That’s not a paper title, it’s just a label. Your instructor already knows what the homework is; your instructor will be reading the title to find out what position your paper is doing to defend.
The Social Value of Television
The above at least identifies the topic, but it’s weak because it doesn’t identify the position the author is going to take.
The Social Value of Television: Smith’s Microcommunities from “Appointment TV” to “Binge-watching”
This title is more informative; if your instructor simply wants you to list what you’ve learned, then this title might be fine. But if your instructor has asked you to defend a position, this title doesn’t even hint at what position this paper will take. (On the most basic level, will this paper agree or disagree with Smith’s position on the relationship between microcommunities and the social value of television?)
How Smith’s Microcommunities Elevated the Social Value of Television (1980s-2010s)
Television’s Surprising Endurance Disproves Smith’s Microcommunity Model
Either of these will work. Note that simply mentioning that the paper will talk about the social value of television and Smith’s concept of microcommunities is vague; there are a limitless number of creative ways that an intelligent student could work with those two subjects.

 

Hamlet and Macbeth: Similarities and Differences
My freshman year in college, I actually turned this in as the title of a paper.

My argument was that as Hamlet’s plot descended into tragedy, Hamlet became more human, while as Macbeth’s plot unfolded, Macbeth became less human.

 

Tragic reversal: Macbeth’s tragic fall mirrors Hamlet’s tragic ascent
That would have been a much better title for the paper I described above.

 

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