The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0233 Tuesday, 28 March 2006
Date: Monday, 27 Mar 2006 12:31:37 -0500
Subject: 17.0221 Doubling of Cordelia and the Fool: Again
Comment: Re: SHK 17.0221 Doubling of Cordelia and the Fool: Again
Bill Lloyd's insightful post has eliminated much of my skepticism
reflected in my comment that
>Cordelia and the Fool do not fit this model. A middle aged
>actor, such as Armin, adept at playing a sour fool would
>probably not be believable in an ingenue role. On the other
>hand, the circumstantial pragmatic evidence is suggestive:
>Why isn't the Fool present in the great I.i court scene? Why
>does he disappear without explanation shortly before Cordelia
>returns? Was WS oblivious to the delicious ambiguity of "my
>poor fool is hanged"? And isn't it wasteful for an actor with the
>skill to play Cordelia to be unemployed for most of the play?
>But (overarching all), are these questions which would more
>likely be posed by a dramaturg or a conspiracy theorist.
I feel silly for looking at the issue as if the only possible doubling
were of the company's clown as Cordelia rather than the boy actor in
both roles. Perhaps I was unduly influenced by Frank Middlemas's
brilliant fool in the BBC version.
I have long been inclined to the doubling theory, as it explains what
would otherwise be lapses in plotting. Now Bill has provided even more
grist for that mill.
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