2006

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0515  Tuesday, 30 May 2006

From: 		Ros King <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Friday, 26 May 2006 22:48:25 +0100
Subject: 17.0505 What happens to the Fool in _Lear_?
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0505 What happens to the Fool in _Lear_?

What a dear load of romantics you are! Lear has reneged on his duty to 
provide a household for the Fool to be part of and a roof to shelter 
him. The Fool, on the contrary, has done his best to keep to his side of 
the employment bargain. What happens to him depends on whether you're 
following the F or the Q text. The Q hovel scene shows us a lot highly 
theatrical madness in which Lear, Edgar and the Fool indulge together, 
and has Gloucester ordering someone, presumably Kent and the Fool to 
'Take up your master' i.e. carry him off. F differentiates the madness 
showing Lear gravitating towards Poor Tom and away from the Fool, and 
adds the Fool's telling little half line 'And I'll go to bed at noon.' 
It's a brilliant exit line (although no SD is marked) for someone fed up 
to the back teeth with his current employer. He's off to find a paid 
fooling job somewhere else.

Anyone involved in the current pay dispute in Higher Education in the UK 
should understand how he feels.

Yours in solidarity,
Ros

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