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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: December ::
Re: Last Lines of Lear
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0941.  Friday, 13 December 1996.

(1)     From:   Bernice W. Kliman <
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        Date:   Thursday, 12 Dec 1996 20:20:57 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0932  Re:  Last Lines of Lear

(2)     From:   Sydney Kasten <
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        Date:   Friday, 13 Dec 1996 15:36:17 +0200 (IST)
        Subj:   Last lines of Lear


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bernice W. Kliman <
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Date:           Thursday, 12 Dec 1996 20:20:57 -0500
Subject: 7.0932  Re:  Last Lines of Lear
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0932  Re:  Last Lines of Lear

I wonder why people think Albany has to be old, too old to say "we who are
young": isn't he (when he is the speaker) comparing himself to Lear?  Since
Goneril had some expectation of having children (otherwise her father's curse
of barrenness would have had no meaning), she, and perhaps her husband too,
could qualify as "young."

Anyone who wants to see what the Q and F look like in comparison to each other
should examine Michael Warren's parallel facsimile edition.

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sydney Kasten <
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Date:           Friday, 13 Dec 1996 15:36:17 +0200 (IST)
Subject:        Last lines of Lear

With respect to the editors who ascribe the lines to Edgar on the basis of *we
that are young*, they are ignoring *shall never see so much*.  To have been
banished by a beloved and respected (tautology?) father, to have seen him
blinded, to witness his despair, and to be forced to protect him anonymously
is to have seen and borne much.  While it may be in character for Edgar to play
down his own purgatory in the light of his sovereign's, in doing so he would be
devaluating his filial sentiments.  Moreover, Albany, like Forinbras, Malcolm
etc., has taken command, and for Edgar to usurp the closing lines would not be
in character.

I would consider a more compelling reason to ascribe the lines to Edgar would
be the direction of Albany's previous lines to Edgar and Kent.  Kent has given
his heart rending answer, and it remains for Edgar to give his. The lines could
be contrued as such, but in that case he should be obeying the regent and not
*the weight of this sad time*.
 

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