The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1906 Friday, 5 November 1999.
Date: Thursday, 04 Nov 1999 11:52:18 -0600
Subject: Burgundy and France Question
We were discussing the opening of Lear in my Shakespeare class
yesterday, and one of my students asked about Lear's giving Burgundy the
"first shot" at marrying Cordelia. My student's question had to do with
the hierarchy (France seems like a higher title than Burgundy?) and
related to passages we were looking at where the play talks about
reversing or challenging hierarchies.
My base answer had to do with the important dramatic effect of having
the first suitor turn her down and the second praise her and want to
marry her. (Evidently Geoffry of Monmouth's Lear flees to France where
he's meets up with Cordelia again, leading me to think that she married
France in Shakespeare's source(s)--none of which are available to me at
this moment.) I wonder if the group can help me with some other ideas?