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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: April ::
Re: Edgar and Edmund
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1193  Tuesday, 30 April 2002

[1]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Monday, 29 Apr 2002 09:36:23 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1167 Re: Edgar and Edmund

[2]     From:   Martin Steward <
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        Date:   Monday, 29 Apr 2002 17:58:03 +0100
        Subj:   SHK 13.1167 Edgar and Edmund

[3]     From:   Edmund Taft <
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        Date:   Monday, 29 Apr 2002 15:12:45 -0400
        Subj:   Edgar and Edmund

[4]     From:   Brian Willis <
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        Date:   Monday, 29 Apr 2002 12:45:30 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1167 Re: Edgar and Edmund

[5]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 30 Apr 2002 00:18:52 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1167 Re: Edgar and Edmund


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Monday, 29 Apr 2002 09:36:23 -0700
Subject: 13.1167 Re: Edgar and Edmund
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1167 Re: Edgar and Edmund

Edmund Taft asks,

>1. What is "the foul fiend" that so haunts Edgar's imagination? Why does
>he feel that only by honoring one's parents can it be kept away? (3.4.
>79ff).

The "foul fiend" does not haunt Edgar's imagination; it haunts Tom's.
The act of "Poor Tom" is inspired almost entirely by highly conventional
morality, the stuff which the Fool shows to be painfully outdated.

>2. When Gloucester reveals that he is contemplating suicide (4.1.72ff),
>why doesn't Edgar reveal himself and thus bring joy (and help!) to his
>father?

Because it could kill him (as, eventually, it does) and it might do so
before he achieves humility by failing to commit suicide.  Besides, as
Larry Barkley pointed out on another thread, Edgar habitually adopts
disguises, many of them pointless.

Janet O'Keefe asks,

>I could probably find other examples, but these are the only ones I can
>recall at the moment.

The example which came immediately to my mind concerned the recent
shuffle vof the Canadian cabinet.  But perhaps only you and I would
understand the reference.

>I find a consistent message in several of the
>plays that Kingship, or rulership to include the Dukes, is a lifelong
>job and cannot be resigned without serious consequences to the ruler and
>the land.  Lear seems to me to be yet one more example of that message.

I'm wondering if we could widen the point from antiquarian notions of
kingship and Divine Right to the question of engagement in the political
and historical world more generally.

Cheers,
Se

 

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