LEO TOLSTOY ON SHAKESPEARE’S KING LEAR: A CASE STUDY
This article examines Tolstoy’s views about Shakespeare’s well-known tragedy “King Lear”. Tolstoy rejected King Lear through calling it very bad, carelessly composed production and far from being perfect and thus, it can evoke among the readers nothing but repulsion, weariness, and bewilderment. To examine the truth of Tolstoy’s views, the data collected in the form of opinions by senior teachers of literature in the universities of Pakistan, United Kingdom, and United states of America has been analyzed through applying Louise Rosenblatt’s Transactional reader-response theory as a research model. Through analyzing the data, it has been revealed that Tolstoy’s observations are pertinent, however, his assertion cannot be generalized. Every reader of Shakespeare’s King Lear derives pleasure from literature in accordance with his personal, educational, cultural and professional background. In this way, it has been confirmed that, Tolstoy’s questions are technically relevant but by ignoring all merits of King Lear as a drama, his attitude towards Shakespeare appears to be biased.