The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0389  Friday, 16 February 2001

From:           Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 15 Feb 2001 13:15:29 -0500
Subject:        Re: Lear's Estate Planning

Significantly, no one in the play seems to object to Lear's plan to
divide the kingdom -- odd, isn't it?  He does give a reason: "that
future strife/May be prevented now" 1.1.44-45).

It doesn't sound like a very good reason, especially retrospectively.
Maybe it's not his real reason: maybe, as Lear himself hints, he has a
darker purpose, of which this division is a part.

But isn't the real question why Lear holds the "love test"?  After all,
the huge, oversized map has already been drawn up.  So the portions are
allotted before the test begins! (?)

--Ed Taft

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