Title

Authority and taxonomies of age in King Lear

Document Type

Presentation

Publication Date

4-8-2011

Abstract

The belief that older men had the wisdom and authority to govern the young was a commonplace in early modern England. King Lear approaches questions about age and authority from a different direction, exploring the violence surrounding the definition of age: when does an old man transition from maturity into dotage? Who makes such a decision, and how is it converted into a publicly accepted fact? By exposing the political logic that produces these categories of age and governs their boundaries, King Lear challenges the ideological processes that link age to authority in early modern England.

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