The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0314 Monday, 15 June 2009
From: Roger Schmeeckle <
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.
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