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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: April ::
Re: Cordelia
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0468.  Wednesday, 16 April 1997.

From:           Susan Mather <
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Date:           Tuesday, 15 Apr 1997 23:24:25 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 8.0461  Re: The Fool; Cordelia
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0461  Re: The Fool; Cordelia

I think it was in Mark Taylor's book that I read this-Cordelia speaks
appropriately since she's about to be married.  He says that "if she
[tells] Lear what he wants to hear, she would then implicitly have to
contradict herself or else appear indifferent to her suitors" (54).
Diane Dreher in her book <Domination and Defiance...> argues similarly
that as she is "soon to be married, Cordelia will not prostitute the
ritual" as her sisters have done (67).

I personally cannot say that I read those lines as Cordelia's
stubbornness and as someone else pointed out to me recently, Goneril and
Regan really say absolutely nothing to their father.  Goneril says,
"Sir, I love you more than word can wield the matter,....  A love that
makes breath poor and speech unable." (I. i. 50, 55) & then Regan says,
"In my true heart I find she names my very deed of love"(I. i. 65-66)
Well then why are they still talking?
Sounds strange to me.  What I always find ironic is that critics who
write about the stubborn, frigid, cold, unfeeling Cordelia I keep
reading about in articles are so very much like Lear in their judgment
of her.  Take Care, Susan

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