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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: May ::
New and Improved Lear
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0967  Monday, 23 May 2005

From:           Arthur Lindley <
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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.
 >
 >James Doyle

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.

Arthur

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