The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0542  Thursday, 26 February 2004

From:           Bob Marks <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 25 Feb 2004 19:28:27 -0800 (PST)
Subject:        Defects in King Lear

In a review of Jonathan Miller's current production of King Lear the New
York Times describes Lear as "famously complex and allegedly unplayable".

Certainly the history of Lear productions has reflected this
description. There are so many questions about the text.

A.C. Bradley gave us a list of defects in the play including the following:

(a) Why does Edgar not reveal himself to his blind father, as he truly
says he ought to have done? The answer is left to mere conjecture.

(b) Why does Kent so carefully preserve his incognito till the last
scene? He says he does it for an important purpose, but what the purpose
is we have to guess.

(c) Why Burgundy rather than France should have first choice of
Cordelia's hand is a question we cannot help asking, but there is no
hint of any answer.

(d) The strange obscurity regarding Edmund's delay in trying to save his

I'm wondering if anyone has seen any answers to Bradley's defects? Do
SHAKSPERians share Bradley's concerns? How would they answer Bradley?

Bob Marks

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