Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: February ::
Re: Lear's Estate Planning
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0410  Wednesday, 21 February 2001

[1]     From:   Don Bloom <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 20 Feb 2001 08:02:23 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0396 Re: Lear's Estate Planning

[2]     From:   Larry Weiss <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 20 Feb 2001 11:07:09 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0396 Re: Lear's Estate Planning

[3]     From:   Ed Taft<
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 20 Feb 2001 12:42:14 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0396 Re: Lear's Estate Planning


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 20 Feb 2001 08:02:23 -0600
Subject: 12.0396 Re: Lear's Estate Planning
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0396 Re: Lear's Estate Planning

In re Lear: I have always found a folk-tale quality to this process that
reminds me of the three caskets of "Merchant."  Perhaps that explains
why I have never thought of Cordelia as a "proud little girl" because
she refuses to play her father's foolish game. Even more than the rooted
goodness that won't associate itself with the hypocrisy of her sisters
and the emotional tyranny of her father, her refusal is caused by the
fact that she is enacting a ritual, either consciously (like Abraham
taking Isaac out to be sacrificed) or unconsciously (like Peter denying
his Lord three times).

Interestingly, and typically, Shakespeare can still personalize the four
ritual figures to make us want to figure out what they are doing in
complex human (rather than symbolic) terms.

Perhaps our differences of interpretation depend on the productions we
have seen (or visualized, at any rate). "My" Lear is not a kindly, but
slightly silly, old grampa, but a self-indulgent and manipulative
egotist. Goneril and Regan are, of course, Goneril and Regan: one hardly
needs to use political attack words on them since they define
viciousness. Cordelia, we should remember, has grown up among all three
and "knows them all." Little wonder (to me, at least) that she refuses
to participate in this love-feast of lies.

Cheers,
Don

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 20 Feb 2001 11:07:09 -0500
Subject: 12.0396 Re: Lear's Estate Planning
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0396 Re: Lear's Estate Planning

J. Birjepatil wrote

> I suspect Lear has to enact in presence of witnesses the division of
> kingdom in order to secure for it legal validity. The controversy
> surrounding marriages de futuro as opposed to de presenti in Measure For
> Measure turns on the issue of their relative legality.

I think this post raises an issue of proof, not validity.  There seems
no question that a marriage per verba de futuro cum copulo was as valid
as a marriage per verba de presenti; but, there presumably being fewer
witnesses to the defining event, proof of the fact in the face of denial
might be problematical.  In Claudio's case, however, the fact could not
be denied and was, indeed, admitted.

As for Lear, I see no reason why a document confirming the division
would not have been sufficient without a ceremony, and a ceremony
without the confirming deeds would have been questionable.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Taft<
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 20 Feb 2001 12:42:14 -0500
Subject: 12.0396 Re: Lear's Estate Planning
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0396 Re: Lear's Estate Planning

RE:     Lear's Estate Planning

Dear All:

Thanks for the great responses to "the division of the kingdom"
question.  I think I agree with Gabriel and, partially, with Marcus. It
seems to me that the "coronet" (Q1) is the key: it's for Cordelia, who,
Lear thinks, will "win" the contest by outdoing her sisters in pledging
all of her love to Lear.  But the contest is a trap, it seems to me.
Lear plans to hold her to her word and make her foreswear marriage to
take care of him.  She will become his ersatz "queen."

Alternatively, Lear could want Cordelia to marry Burgundy because he is
a man Lear thinks he can handle.  That would be copying the plot of King
Leir.  But I opt for the first possibility because I see Lear as a man
who really only cares about himself and his own desires -- at least at
the start of the play.

--Ed Taft
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.