FORESTS FULL OF BEASTS: ARISTOTELIAN ANALYSES OF ANTINOMIAN MADNESS IN 'KING LEAR' AND 'TIMON OF ATHENS'
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"Forests Full of Beasts" analyzes late-Shakespearean thought as represented in "Timon of Athens" and "King Lear," focusing on expressions of madness. Applying an Aristotelian framework, each chapter examines the two plays through a different lens, applying the "Nicomachean Ethics," "Politics" and "Poetics" in turn. Looking at these plays through the "Ethic"s shows that Timon and Lear miss the mark of happiness through excessive action, and their madness is therefore construed as deliberately maintaining unsustainable behaviour. The Politics foregrounds humanity's social nature, and it is in their rejection of society's provisions and friendship that Timon and Lear are seen to be most mad. Following the Poetics' prioritization of plot, both plays are analyzed in terms of the unified whole, and their madness is seen as seamlessly interwoven with the overall action. The conclusion ties these analyses together, understanding Timon's and Lear's madness as the deliberate choice to pursue excessive, antisocial behaviour.