The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.1038. Tuesday, 14 October 1997.
Date: Tuesday, 14 Oct 1997 10:00:29 -0700
Subject: New Lear/Cordelia Website
A current Sydney production of King Lear focuses on his proposing the
division of his kingdom in a futuristic Sydney, where Goneril and Regan
try to impress their father with a fiercely theatrical dance routine
while Cordelia speaks the plain truth.
Coca Cola, I'm told, is currently running an advertizement in the US in
which Cordelia responds to her father's request by giving him a Coke!
It seems that we're constantly presented with variations on Lear, and
when we consider that in Shakespeare's day the Lear legend was already
older than Shakespeare's version is today, and that there were several
variations on Lear then, it seems appropriate that there be variations
But we've not really found a reading of Shakespeare's versions that has
wide acceptance today, and Shakespeare, being the figure in English
literature that he is, should command greater respect than to just
continually carve him up and reassemble him in any way we like.
For 100 years we have considered that the parts of Cordelia and Fool
were played by the same boy actor, but we have been slow to take the
matter a step further and admit that the motley was itself a disguise
which would have allowed Cordelia to remain behind and serve her father
without his knowing it, as Edgar does his father in the sub-plot.
If you enjoy seeing Rosalind disguised as Ganymede, Celia as Aliena,
Viola as Cesario, Imogen as Fidele, or Portia and Nerissa as Antonio's
doctor of law and law clerk, then you will love seeing Cordelia
disguised as Lear's Fool.
Visit the expanded website dedicated to the promotion of Cordelia,