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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: March ::
Doubling of Cordelia and the Fool: Again
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0233  Tuesday, 28 March 2006

From: 		Larry Weiss <
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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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