Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Pagan VirtueAn Essay in Ethics$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

John Casey

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198240037

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198240037.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 19 September 2018

Postscript: Homer, Shakespeare, and the Conflict of Values

Postscript: Homer, Shakespeare, and the Conflict of Values

(p.211) 7 Postscript: Homer, Shakespeare, and the Conflict of Values
Pagan Virtue

John Casey

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the history of Lear criticism. King Lear is someone who was once proud, but whose pride has, with age and flattery, degenerated into childish vanity and irascibility. It also states part of the greatness of King Lear lies in what, ethically speaking, could be regarded as confusion. It makes use, opportunistically, of some of the most potent images and emotions in our culture — the humbling of pride, the survival of love, finding oneself through losing oneself, redemption. At the same time, and even as a condition of the power to move us of such things, there is in the background a recognition of the good of ‘noble rage’, of outrage at ingratitude, of horror at the comprehensive defeat of manhood. It has been a theme implicit in this book that we inherit a confused system of values; that when we think most rigorously and realistically we are ‘pagans’ in ethics, but that our Christian inheritance only allows a fitful sincerity about this. It would therefore be wrong to assume that any thorough return to ‘pagan’ ways of thinking about ethics is being suggested.

Keywords:   Lear criticism, King Lear, noble rage, manhood, pagans, Christian inheritance

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .