1995

Qs: Child Parts; Sh in Bush; *King John*; Directing Sh

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0269.  Thursday, 6 April 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Gabriella C. Marino <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday,  5 Apr 95 23:40:54 GMT
        Subj:   Child actors
 
(2)     From:   John Mills <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 05 Apr 1995 14:53:48 -0700 (MST)
        Subj:   [Shakespeare in the Bush]
 
(3)     From:   Ray Allen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 05 Apr 1995 18:44:00 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Arthur's Blinding in *King John*
 
(4)     From:   Lurana OMalley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 6 Apr 1995 06:38:41 -1000
        Subj:   Directing Shakespeare
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriella C. Marino <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday,  5 Apr 95 23:40:54 GMT
Subject:        Child actors
 
Hello all,
 
I'm a student at the second university of Rome and I'm currently studying
Winter's Tale and The Tempest.
 
My question is this: who played the children's parts in Shakespeare's plays? My
professor doesn't know. This question came to my mind reading Mamillius' part
in Act II Scene I which would be grotesque, IMHO, if spoken by an adult dressed
up as a seven-year-old.
 
Also, how did the actors manage to dress up as women who then disguised
themselves as men? Did they wear a man's disguise on top of their disguise as a
woman?
 
Thank you very much for your help,
 
Gabriella C. Marino
Seconda Universita' di Roma, Tor Vergata
Rome, Italy
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Mills <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 05 Apr 1995 14:53:48 -0700 (MST)
Subject:        [Shakespeare in the Bush]
 
[Editor's Note: We have discussed this essay in the past and at this point I
I would normally recommend the Database Function.  However, because of disk
space problem and because the move to Bowie State has not yet happened, we
only have access to this year's logs and not those of the first five years.
Soon everything will be available, but in the meantime this question goes out
to everyone.  --HMC]
 
A student has asked me to help him track down something called "Shakespeare in
the Bush."  To the best of his recollection it is an account, possibly
fictional, possibly factual of responses to *Hamlet* by a group of African
bushmen.  I remember such a title from many years ago, early 60s perhaps, and
remember it as a factual account of an adaptation/production of the play, in
Swahili, by African students with tribal backgrounds.  But I have no idea where
I saw it.  I would appreciate any information anyone might have on such a
topic, by that title or another.--John Mills, English, Univ. of Arizona.
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ray Allen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 05 Apr 1995 18:44:00 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        Arthur's Blinding in *King John*
 
I just finished reading King John, and, despite it's being criticized for being
uneven and poorly ended, I enjoyed it for the verse and prose while trying to
ignore the storyline.
 
In act III John persuades Hubert to kill Arthur, the true heir to the throne of
England.  In Act IV, it turns out that John wants Arthur blinded with hot irons
before being killed.  Why?
 
Up to this point in the story, John hasn't evinced any particular hatred for
Arthur.  I understand, of course, that John wants no rivals for the throne
fomenting rebellion in the land or whipping France into sanctimonious
frenzy--but blinding?  Is this another flaw?  Was it some sort of tradition?
Did I miss a line somewhere?
 
Your comments, answers, speculations will be appreciated.
                Ray Allen
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lurana OMalley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 6 Apr 1995 06:38:41 -1000
Subject:        Directing Shakespeare
 
Directing Teachers and others:
 
I am currently putting together a theatre course in directing that deals with
directing period ("classic") plays as well as non-realistic drama of the 20th
century. The course is an intermediate directing course which will take the
students beyond the proscenium realism of our department's Beginning Directing
course.
 
One section of the course will deal specificlly with strategies for directing
Shakespeare.
 
Does anyone on the list have pedagogical resource material to suggest on this
topic?
 
I am looking for textbooks in particular but am also interested in articles, or
videos, or other resources.
 
Please post any ideas to the list or to my e-mail below.
 
Many thanks,
 
Lurana Donnels O'Malley
Assistant Professor
Department of Theatre and Dance
1770 East-West Road
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel#  808-956-9609
FAX#  808-956-4234
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Re: Ending of *Lear*

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0268.  Thursday, 6 April 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Christine Mack Gordon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 5 Apr 95 16:30:37 -0500
        Subj:   Ending of *Lear*
 
(2)     From:   John Owen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 5 Apr 1995 15:52:44 -0700
        Subj:   RE: SHK 6.0265  Q: *Lr.* Ending
 
(3)     From:   Cliff Ronan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 05 Apr 1995 17:09:41 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0265  Q: *Lr.* Ending
 
(4)     From:   Diane Mountford <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 5 Apr 1995 20:23:44 -0400
        Subj:   Re: *Lr.* Ending
 
(5)     From:   Helen Ostovich <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 6 Apr 1995 11:05:45 +0059 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re:  *Lr.* Ending
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christine Mack Gordon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 5 Apr 95 16:30:37 -0500
Subject:        Ending of *Lear*
 
I always thought that no one at the end of *Lear* was really ready to pick up
and move on. I do think, however, that Albany is abdicating and that Kent is
saying I'm not going to be alive much longer, so I pass. Edgar's statement is
more general, but implicit in what he says (to my mind, at least) is the
recognition that as one of the "young," it is his obligation to take on the
kingship. His experiences as poor Tom, with Lear and with his father, have been
the necessary preparation for that role, as has--in another role--his defeat of
Edmund in one-on-one combat and their susequent reconciliation. I'd be
delighted to hear other perspectives.
 
Chris Gordon
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Owen <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 5 Apr 1995 15:52:44 -0700
Subject: 6.0265  Q: *Lr.* Ending
Comment:        RE: SHK 6.0265  Q: *Lr.* Ending
 
Regarding the end of Lear, I had always assumed that Albany WAS in fact
offering the split crown to Kent and Edgar. Why assume otherwise? That is what
he says, and there seems to be no strings attached. Besides, recall that Albany
is ineffectual, almost feeble-minded, during most of the play. He might well
doubt his own ability to govern properly. I certainly do. Kent's reply is a
direct answer -- "No, I am dying". Edgar's reply is not so much general as it
is indirect. He seems to be saying that the area littered with corpses is not a
fitting place for the discussion of who will succeed to the throne. There can
be no doubt that Edgar is in real control, like Octavian at the end of JC, and
that it is he, and not Duke Dimwit, who will reign. BTW Edgar, by defeating
Edmund single-handedly, has redeemed his own sagging reputation.
 
 John Owen
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Cliff Ronan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 05 Apr 1995 17:09:41 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 6.0265  Q: *Lr.* Ending
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0265  Q: *Lr.* Ending
 
Dear James Hill,
 
I think the conventional wisdom is that King Edgar (a name with a finely
English Anglo-SAXON ring) will now reign, but for a few seconds there has
indeed been a sovereign status for the Duke of Albany and the Earl of Kent.
The issue of divided rule, with which the play starts does indeed appear to be
coming back into the play at the end.  So too of course does the issue of
whether one should speak one's heart and mind, as Cordelia did at the start and
Edgar now says he will at the end.  Perhaps the point of these supposed
examples of how `no one seems to have learned anything!' is that the new
situation differs from the old in being suffused with true good will.  That
supposes that we should note an element of angry pride in Cordelia's initial
truth-telling, just as we see an element of wilful ignorance in Lear's
questionable generosity in awarding Cornwall and wife a third of the kingdom,
and vicious Regan another third.
 
Actually the thought of sovereignty for Albany may have surprised fewer in the
original audience than in today's.  For one meaning of Albany seems to have
been "Scotland," whose king had obviously just acceded to the English throne
and was trying to redefine it as the British throne.
 
Cliff Ronan, Southwest Texas SU
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Diane Mountford <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 5 Apr 1995 20:23:44 -0400
Subject:        Re: *Lr.* Ending
 
I vote for King Edgar.
 
I've always thought that Albany indeed abdicates, then Kent abdicates, leaving
Edgar.
 
A little game of 'hot potato' with the English crown?
 
Cheers
Diane Mountford
 
(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Helen Ostovich <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 6 Apr 1995 11:05:45 +0059 (EDT)
Subject:        Re:  *Lr.* Ending
 
I always assumed Albany was looking for someone to rule the whole kingdom:  he
tried to give it back to Lear, but Lear wouldn't pay attention.  It seems to me
the point is that when you break something you can't always glue it back
together again.  Albany has no real right to the throne, since his contact with
it is through marriage.  Kent has no further interest in political life, and
Edgar (whose only claim is that he's Lear's godson) expresses no interest in
anything but mourning.  So yes, Shakespeare did create a play in which order is
not reestablished, and no rightful claimant appears.  If you see Albany as
perpetuating Lear's  error of dividing the kingdom by passing on the divisions
to Kent and Edgar, I see no problem with that.  But the final fact seems to be
that no one wants to pick up the pieces.
 
Helen Ostovich
Department of English / Editor, _REED Newsletter_
McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada  L8S 4L9

Re: *Othello*s on BRAVO

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0266.  Wednesday, 5 April 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Jim Swan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 03 Apr 1995 22:46:30 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0263 *Othello*s on BRAVO
 
(2)     From:   Mike Young <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 04 Apr 1995 09:39:40 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0263  Othellos on BRAVO
 
(3)     From:   Robert Knapp <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 04 Apr 95 12:30:31 PDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0263  *Othello*s on BRAVO
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jim Swan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 03 Apr 1995 22:46:30 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 6.0263 *Othello*s on BRAVO
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0263 *Othello*s on BRAVO
 
I would really like to see the two _Othello_ films but, unhappily, my local
cable system doesn't offer BRAVO.  (I've tried, but they're not interested--not
yet.)
 
I would appreciate hearing privately from any member of SHAKSPER who might
be able to help me to see the films.
 
Thanks.
Jim Swan
SUNY/Buffalo
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Young <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 04 Apr 1995 09:39:40 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 6.0263  Othellos on BRAVO
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0263  Othellos on BRAVO
 
Thanks to Douglas Lanier for word on the _Othellos_ on BRAVO.  With April 23rd
coming up, does anyone have any listing of other BRAVO Shakespeares? It's on
our cable system but not in any of the TV listings.
 
Thanks,
Michael Young
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robert Knapp <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 04 Apr 95 12:30:31 PDT
Subject: 6.0263  *Othello*s on BRAVO
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0263  *Othello*s on BRAVO
 
For what it's worth, the Olivier Othello can be obtained (at least our library
has it) from  British Home Entertainment video, but only in PAL format, which
requires a special machine.
 
Robert Knapp

Re: Early Modern Subjectivity

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0267.  Thursday, 6 April 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Thomas G. Bishop <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 5 Apr 1995 14:45:50 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0260  Re: Early Modern Subjectivity
 
(2)     From:   John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 06 Apr 95 00:44:00 BST
        Subj:   SHK 6.0264 Re: Early Modern Subjectivity
 
(3)     From:   W.L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 06 Apr 1995 08:38:34 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Early Modern Subjectivity
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas G. Bishop <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 5 Apr 1995 14:45:50 -0400
Subject: 6.0260  Re: Early Modern Subjectivity
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0260  Re: Early Modern Subjectivity
 
We seem to have several related words for discussing "mental functioning in
relation to the world" and the distinctions between them are not always
entirely clear: consciousness, mentalite (Fr.), subjectivity, habitus,
character come to mind straight off. Each of these seems to me to have a
different nuance, and also to produce rather different accounts of the past
when used as a tool to open it up. Some of the differences can perhaps be
pointed up by asking questions like: "Is color vision an aspect of
consciousness? (I would say yes); of mentalite? (perhaps not); of subjectivity?
(I would say no). Current uses of "subjectivity" seem to want to be about the
network of characteristic assumptions, habits, emotions, attitudes and
expectations, both conscious and unconscious, that human beings, in particular
as members of social groups, exhibit. At some level, such an account does, it
seems to me, overlap with the Skinnerian -- perhaps at the level of "emotional
training" (see for instance Dorothy Allison's remarkable short essay "A
Question of Class"; Phyllis Rackin's response about raising dogs seems to fit
here). Insofar as "subjectivity" fires up its internal pun on "subjects", it
wants to be about the way minds are more or less trained to think and work in
certain ways rather than others, politically trained.
 
Yet cultures are very complex things, and they always offer more opportunities
for making connections than are properly licensed at any one time (see "The
Cheese and the Worms -- did the miller have an "early modern subjectivity"? in
what sense?). A problem for me arises in relation to reading complex figurative
texts like plays, where critics or historians start making general claims for
"early modern subjectivity" as if such a thing actually existed. I've gotten
used to seeing announcements about shifts in this nebulous category and I've
found they often evaporate under pressure. Often the claims are supported
through a kind of Tillyardism of representative texts purporting to exhibit in
some clear form the thing itself, against which some more complex text can then
be measured. But if subjectivity means anything useful, it needs to be
specified quite closely as the property only ever of particular persons, in
particular niches, with particular habits, beliefs, desires, etc. Some of these
are shared and some not. (Here the notion seems to overlap with "character",
esp if we bear in mind the etymology of "impressure" in the latter). Pierre
Bourdieu's concept of "habitus" (I assume taken over from Aquinas) has been
useful to me here, as it insists on the variability within a "field" of the
ways individuals may jump as they pays their monies and makes their choices.
And for some those choices are more limited than for others. Plays (not alone)
seem to me often to be about pushing "the limits of language" (and hence of
"mind") and thus extending the possibilities of "subjectivity" among the
subjects who attend them.
 
Passing thoughts. Thanks for raising the question Bill.
 
Tom Bishop
Case Western Reserve University
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 06 Apr 95 00:44:00 BST
Subject: Re: Early Modern Subjectivity
Comment:        SHK 6.0264 Re: Early Modern Subjectivity
 
Ah, now we have it...
 
Godshalk is REALLY interested in biologism, and I suppose his argument would be
that humans are just a little further along the line of development than
animals....and that some humans are further along that line than other humans,
and that in this Darwinian universe those with the biggest guns win. I suppose
also that without any theoretical tools to examine this allegedly "scientific"
data, or the details of actual experience, that's all that there is to say.
 
We can discuss whether dogs have culture till we're blue in the face, but I
doubt whether we'll ever get the dog lovers to agree that they are projecting
their own "human" meanings onto the behaviour of animals. Unlike humans animals
do not reproduce the conditions of their own relations of production; it is
THIS that produces "culture"  (Maybe Godshalk should add Raymond Williams's
Culture and Society to his reading list). It's within culture that "subject
positions" are taken up. The reason why Godshalk will never be "hailed" by
ideology is because ideology is able to disguise its workings...."the imaginary
way in which human beings live real relations". This has nothing to do with
either fantasy or paranoia. It has a lot to do with the ways in which, under
determinate conditions, certain social relations are produced and reproduced.
In fact, if Godshalk thinks that the operations of any social formation, and of
one based on capital in particular, are transparent, then he is the fantasist.
He also knows more about paranoia than I do.
 
Now if he's SERIOUSLY interested in "subjectivity", as he claims to be, then he
might like to try to offer us what he perceives to be a workable distinction
between "subjectivity" and the category of "character", without retreating into
a crass biologism.   So long as he persists in the childishly negative practice
of insisting what these categories are not, and stamping his feet when we don't
give him what he perceives to be the "right" answer, then he's simply inviting
us all to be adjuncts to his own power trip. Or, perhaps it's because he can't
reduce the problem to an -ism, and so can't pigeon-hole it, that has him
worried.
 
Tell us Bill! Enquiring minds want to know.
 
Cheers
John Drakakis
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W.L. Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 06 Apr 1995 08:38:34 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Early Modern Subjectivity
 
Behind our discussion of subjectivity is, I think, the question: how alien from
me or you is any given early modern person?  You will excuse me, of course, if
I do not refer to people as "subjects."  If, as Stephen Jay Gould points out,
our species has not evolved significantly in many millenia (I can't remember
how many millenia), then it would seem to me that an early modern person and a
contemporary person would react similarly to the same external stimulus. In
other words, we have a firm biological basis for understanding people from the
recent past.  And in terms of evolution, four hundred years is very recent.
 
My point is that recent attempts to describe early modern people (including
Shakespeare) as "other," different, and alien may be misguided. For example, we
may understand early modern reactions to the Henrician despotism in terms of
reactions to 20th century despotisms, "show trials," "confessions," and all.
 
Dave Evett doggedly refers to "the subjectivity of whole cultures."  Does this
reference mean that the early modern period had a unified "subjectivity"? Can a
"culture" have a "subjectivity"? If so, perhaps we need to go back and redefine
"subjectivity." From the earlier definitions given by Michael Prince, Daniel
Pigg, and Wes Folkerth (SHK 6.0251),  I assume that subjectivity can be
experienced only by an individual.
 
Do we all really share a subjectivity?
 
Yours, Bill Godshalk

Qs: Fools; Sh Texts for TACT; Welsh for 1H4; *Lr.*

Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0265.  Wednesday, 5 April 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Todd Davis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Monday, 3 Apr 1995 18:13:07 +0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Fools
 
(2)     From:   Robert Burke <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 04 Apr 1995 13:20:32 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   TACT
 
(3)     From:   Peter John Still <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 4 Apr 95 15:16:28 CST
        Subj:   Welsh for 1 Henry IV
 
(4)     From:   James J. Hill, Jr. <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 04 Apr 1995 19:09:40 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Ending of *Lear*
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Todd Davis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 3 Apr 1995 18:13:07 +0800 (PST)
Subject:        Fools
 
Hi Everyone:
 
My name is Todd Davis and I'm new to this list.  I'm currently a student at
California State University Northridge, and I'm studying Shakespeare under the
direction of Dr. Suzanne Collier.  I have received the previous messages, and
I'm thrilled to be a part of this conference.
 
I'm currently working on a project for my class entitled "The Wit and Wisdom of
Fools".  I have four texts currently: *Shakespearean Subversions: The trickster
and the play-text* by Richard Hillman, *Shakespeare's Wit and Humour* by
William Lawson, *Wise Fools in Shakespeare* by Robert Hillis Goldsmith, and
*Shakespeare's Motley* by Leslie Hotson.
 
If anyone has any other sources that I should try and acquire, please let me
know.  Thank you!
 
Todd
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robert Burke <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 04 Apr 1995 13:20:32 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        TACT
 
Would anyone there be able to furnish me with a list of Shakespeare plays on
TACT?  I received the _Hamlet_ several years ago, and would like to try more
now.  Thank you.  Please send an responses directly to me, Robert Burke at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter John Still <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 4 Apr 95 15:16:28 CST
Subject:        Welsh for 1 Henry IV
 
Um - I'm almost embarrassed to ask - but does anyone out there in SHAKSPER land
have Welsh written for III.i of 1 Henry IV? Just written words would be great -
I do have a very basic grasp of the language - but with translation and tape
would be even better!
 
I'm also pursuing this though some Welsh contacts of my own, but it's not the
most tactful request an Englishman can make of a Welsh nationalist.
 
Many thanks for any help anyone might have - PeterJohn Still (various theaters,
including the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, CTC in Minneapolis, the Guthrie
(occasionally!), the Yvonne Arnaud in Guildford.)
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James J. Hill, Jr. <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 04 Apr 1995 19:09:40 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Ending of *Lear*
 
A recent class discussion surprised me when some of students asserted that
Albany had abdicated when he said to Kent & Edgar: "Friends of my soul, you
twain,/Rule in the realm, and the gored state sustain." Kent replies "I have a
journey, sir, shortly to go./My master calls me, I must not say no."  Edgar
gives a more generalized statement that recognizes the "weight of this sad
time."  Neither seems even to consider that Albany is giving up the throne.
 
I have always assumed that Albany was merely telling them to direct the closure
of the military/political matters following the battle between the French and
the English, while he took care of the many funerals of the noble dead:  "Our
present business/Is general woe."
 
I can not imagine that Shakespeare would end the tragedy caused by the division
of the kingdom with yet another [intended] division of the kingdom!  Is it King
Edgar or King Albany?  [Certainly Cordelia's husband--King of France--is not a
factor to be considered.] J.J.Hill

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