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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: June ::
King Lear Advice
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0314  Monday, 15 June 2009

From:       Roger Schmeeckle <
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Date:       Friday, 12 Jun 2009 22:27:37 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:    Seeking Advice about Coordinating Discussion of King Lear


I am planning a pilot group of 5-7 members to hear and/or view the play, 
act by act, over a period of five weeks, each hearing/viewing to be 
followed by discussion focused on interpreting the work. I am seeking 
information on the following three topics. I have my own highly 
developed and well-fermented interpretation which has evolved over a 
period of 30-40 years.

What audio versions can be recommended, with the emphasis on one that 
offers a complete text, without any significant omissions? I assume that 
there is no such visual version, but I would be glad to be corrected.

King Lear is commonly categorized as a "tragedy," such being the title 
in the First Folio, but the quarto does not use that term, and, I, 
personally have problems with it. It seems an oversimplification. So my 
question is: is there any evidence that Shakespeare ever classified his 
plays, or are these classifications the work of some editor, preparing 
them for publication? or do we just not know?

Third, I find a number of structures in the play, one involving the 
"nothing" exchanges between Lear and Cordelia, including the phrase 
"nothing can come from nothing." The word and the phrase occur later. I 
use the term "echoes" to designate such repetitions. My question is 
whether such repetitions constituted a recognized rhetorical device at 
the time of Lear's composition?

Thanks for any information and advice.

Roger Schmeeckle

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