The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1291  Wednesday, 25 June 2003

From:           Edmund Taft <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 25 Jun 2003 09:30:56 -0400
Subject:        France

In response to my questions about France returning to his realm and
"abandoning" Cordelia, L. Swilley responds:

"The King of France's error is not that he should have returned to
France (there being something "imperfect" there), but that he  should
not have taken his Queen back to France with him; in this there is the
vague suggestion of his likeness to Albany, whose lack of control of his
wife is partially responsible for the tragedy."

This is an interesting point of view, though I would hasten to add that
the putative likeness between France and Albany is not convincing.
France stands up to Lear in 1.1 and, near the end of the scene, Goneril
and Regan apparently hear both men having words with each other
offstage. France does not seem to be a Casper Milktoast type.

Isn't it implied that Cordelia has made up her mind to save her father
and that nothing can stop her? Doesn't she find herself in a double
bind? Fight for her father or stay by the side of France? Doesn't France
put her in that position by not agreeing to lead her forces -- whether
we believe his reason/excuse or not?

Friendly questions, Louis.


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