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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: April ::
*Lear* Ending and Question
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0313.  Tuesday, 18 April 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Charles Baldwin <
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        Date:   Monday, 17 Apr 1995 14:47:09 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   RE: The Ending of *King Lear*
 
(2)     From:   Diane Mountford <
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        Date:   Monday, 17 Apr 1995 19:38:18 -0400
        Subj:   Re: Happy-Ending Lear
 
(3)     From:   Peggy Galbraith <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 18 Apr 1995 01:46:12 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0309 Re: *Lr.* Ending
 
(4)     From:   Peggy Galbraith <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 18 Apr 1995 01:52:57 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Christianity vs. Paganism in Lear and Cymb
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Charles Baldwin <
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Date:           Monday, 17 Apr 1995 14:47:09 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        RE: The Ending of *King Lear*
 
Peter Callahan asked:
 
> I was at a lecture at the Folger Library in D.C. last year,  I
> believe that the lecturer said that in the end of the 18th or 19th
> Century that the ending of *King Lear* was so depressing that most
> theaters performed the ending as a comedy.  This practice has stopped in
> this century, (thank God).  Has anyone else heard this, or do I have
> the wrong production in mind?
 
Possibly, the reference is to Tate's adaptation of *King Lear*, late 17th-c.
Whether it's a comedy or not may be debatable, but his adaptation gives *KL* a
happing ending: Edgar and Cordelia marry. Tate's adaptation, I believe, was
influential through the 18th and (early) 19th-c.
 
Charles Baldwin
English - Kent State University
Institute for Bibliography & Editing
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Diane Mountford <
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Date:           Monday, 17 Apr 1995 19:38:18 -0400
Subject:        Re: Happy-Ending Lear
 
For a *Lear* with a happy-ending, check out Nahum Tate's *The History of King
Lear* (1681). It's still called a tragedy, but the ending finds Lear & Kent
going off for a life of quite contemplation and Gloster beaming as Edgar and
Cordelia become engaged. The bad guys all die, but at the end, Edgar proclaims:
 
"Thy [Cordelia's] bright example shall convince the world
(Whatever storms of Fortune are decreed)
That truth and virtue shall at last succeed."
 
For a wonderful look at this an other Restoration re-writes of Shakespeare,
take a look at Gary Taylor's *Reinventing Shakespeare.*
 
Diane Mountford
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peggy Galbraith <
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Date:           Tuesday, 18 Apr 1995 01:46:12 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 6.0309 Re: *Lr.* Ending
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0309 Re: *Lr.* Ending
 
In regards to Peter Callahan's querry about the ending of King Lear... In
lecture today, my Literature professor termed Lear "the most revised of
Shakespeare's works" and definitely made mention of the fact that 18th and
early 19th century productions were carried out as comedies, and that this
practive went on for quite some time, and was considered the ONLY way to
produce Lear.  I just had to  reply...it was the first time all semester that
my "Skakespeare After 1600" class has been relevant on this newsgroup!
 
Peggy Galbraith
Duke University '98
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peggy Galbraith <
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Date:           Tuesday, 18 Apr 1995 01:52:57 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Christianity vs. Paganism in Lear and Cymb
 
Today, while having a classmate review my term paper, she expressed the opinion
that Shakespeare not only uses pagan symbols and imagery in Lear and Cymbeline
to make a point, but that he actually holds them in higher esteem than he does
Christian teachings.  Aside from the fact that if my professor shares her view,
I am going to receive an F on my paper, I'm not sure I agree with my classmate.
Any opinions?
 

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