Although Shakespeare's use of mathematical imagery in King Lear has been touched on by various commentators on the play, adequate attention has not always been paid to the function such imagery performs in dramatizing the problem of what constitutes value in a period in which different conceptions of value were coming increasingly into conflict among themselves. It is the purpose of this paper to make a more concentrated effort to investigate the language of mathematics pervading the tragedy--most particularly that having to do with measurement and other forms of quantification--in its relation both to the mentality it reflects and to the rival principles of division and unification which contend with one another throughout the work. If the language of numbers and of comparative value figures processes of mensuration and partitioning that operate ubiquitously and destructively in the universe of King Lear, it is also deployed obliquely as a symbolic notation of a countervailing impulse towards unification that, also present in the play, offsets to some degree what might otherwise seem to be the unmitigated pessimism of its conclusion.

“'More than two tens to a score': Disquantification in King Lear"

Lucking, David Ian Clive
2019

Abstract

Although Shakespeare's use of mathematical imagery in King Lear has been touched on by various commentators on the play, adequate attention has not always been paid to the function such imagery performs in dramatizing the problem of what constitutes value in a period in which different conceptions of value were coming increasingly into conflict among themselves. It is the purpose of this paper to make a more concentrated effort to investigate the language of mathematics pervading the tragedy--most particularly that having to do with measurement and other forms of quantification--in its relation both to the mentality it reflects and to the rival principles of division and unification which contend with one another throughout the work. If the language of numbers and of comparative value figures processes of mensuration and partitioning that operate ubiquitously and destructively in the universe of King Lear, it is also deployed obliquely as a symbolic notation of a countervailing impulse towards unification that, also present in the play, offsets to some degree what might otherwise seem to be the unmitigated pessimism of its conclusion.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11587/434214
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