The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0967 Monday, 23 May 2005
Date: Saturday, 21 May 2005 10:11:20 +0800
Subject: 16.0953 New and Improved Lear
Comment: RE: SHK 16.0953 New and Improved Lear
James Doyle writes:
>In the original story in Geoffrey of Monthmouth's History of the Kings
>of Britain (I'm not sure if Holinshed's version is the same), Lear is
>restored to the throne by Cordelia, but is later deposed by the allied
>sons of Goneril and Regan. So one could say that Shakespeare's change
>was more of an abridgement, avoiding a problematic generational change
>on stage, and ending up with the winning and losing sides, if not
>personnel, the same.
In so doing, we might notice, Shakespeare has changed Geoffrey's account
to make Goneril and Regan barren, like Edmund, like the Macbeths and
virtually every other villain in the plays. It's an entirely
characteristic move, in other words.
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