Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: December ::
Re: Edgar and Edmund
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2377  Friday, 06 December 2002

[1]     From:   Clifford Stetner <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 5 Dec 2002 10:15:10 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2367 Re: Edgar and Edmund

[2]     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 05 Dec 2002 11:48:20 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2375 Re: Edgar and Edmund

[3]     From:   Ed Taft <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 05 Dec 2002 11:42:06 -0500
        Subj:   Edgar and Edmund

[4]     From:   John Velz <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 06 Dec 2002 01:31:21 -0600
        Subj:   Lear and Folktales


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Clifford Stetner <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 5 Dec 2002 10:15:10 -0500
Subject: 13.2367 Re: Edgar and Edmund
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2367 Re: Edgar and Edmund

Doesn't Shakespeare anticipate the problem by giving Cordelia alone
asides that testify to the sincerity of her position? Asides such as
these are meant to open a window to characters' inner thoughts and
should not be subject to the same skepticism as their lines spoken "out
loud." Asides are usually the province of Vices like Edmund. Doesn't
making an exception in Cordelia's case indicate the removal of the
ambiguity of intention that would otherwise attend her reply to Lear in
the context of the dissembling replies of her sisters? Or are we to view
even her private thoughts skeptically (as Iago's often have been) as
mere performances?

p.s. I don't think Mrs. Lear is hard to track down. Simply reverse the
genders in Gorboduc.

Clifford Stetner
CUNY
http://phoenixandturtle.net/ESA/conference.htm

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 05 Dec 2002 11:48:20 -0500
Subject: 13.2375 Re: Edgar and Edmund
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2375 Re: Edgar and Edmund

Don Bloom observes that King Lear has folk tale connections, and then
says that

>It [King Lear] also imports the
>story of the evil (bastard) brother versus the good brother from a quite
>different (though parallel) tale-tradition.

Shakespeare imports the story of the two brothers from Sidney's New
Arcadia, which has connections to Medieval and Renaissance romances
(e.g., Amadis of Gaul and Orlando Furioso).  Is romance a parallel
tale-tradition?

In my libertarian discourse community, we talk about Lear in any terms
we desire, from the James brothers to Philip K. Dick and beyond.  Who
dares stop us?

Yours,
Bill Godshalk

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Taft <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 05 Dec 2002 11:42:06 -0500
Subject:        Edgar and Edmund

Don Bloom writes of _Lear_ that

"But it still strikes me as primarily a terrifying revision of a fairy
tale theme, and works best when it is seen as such."

Terrifying? Yes. ONLY a fairy Tale? I don't think so. Like _M for M_ and
_All's Well_, _King Lear_ seems to be a mixture of romance and realism,
of of "fairy tale" and "real life." This is a technique Shakespeare uses
at least as early as _M of V_, and it seems to be employed to give
readers/audiences a choice.

If they want, like Don, they can disregard questions of motivation,
psychology, etc. But they don't have to do so.  As examples, we can see
Goneril as the evil older sister and stop. Or, we can ask why it is that
Oswald is so loyal to her. We can label Edmund as a bastard and think we
have him nailed, or we can ask why he feels as he does and does what he
does. (This one's easy: he never felt loved until the end of the play.)

In short, Shakespeare gives us an easy out if we want it, but we don't
have to take it; we can go deeper if we choose.  For my money, _Lear_
works on two levels simultaneously: fairy tale and realistic narrative.
We choose what to focus on, and that makes ALL the difference.

--Ed Taft

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Velz <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 06 Dec 2002 01:31:21 -0600
Subject:        Lear and Folktales

I see the play as Don Bloom does.  We all no doubt recall that Freud
wrote an essay on the three daughters of Lear as fairy tale characters.
What takes us beyond Freud's perception about the play is that
Shakespeare greatly complicates the folk materials first by making them
tragic and second by replicating them within the play in Gloucester and
his two sons, one of whom, the good one, is cast out as Cordelia is.

Thanks also to the poster of the piece about Plummer's plans to take
the  Stratford ON production of Lear to Lincoln Center.  I hope to be
able to see it there.

Cheers,
John V.

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.