The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0515 Tuesday, 30 May 2006
Date: Friday, 26 May 2006 22:48:25 +0100
Subject: 17.0505 What happens to the Fool in _Lear_?
Comment: Re: SHK 17.0505 What happens to the Fool in _Lear_?
What a dear load of romantics you are! Lear has reneged on his duty to
provide a household for the Fool to be part of and a roof to shelter
him. The Fool, on the contrary, has done his best to keep to his side of
the employment bargain. What happens to him depends on whether you're
following the F or the Q text. The Q hovel scene shows us a lot highly
theatrical madness in which Lear, Edgar and the Fool indulge together,
and has Gloucester ordering someone, presumably Kent and the Fool to
'Take up your master' i.e. carry him off. F differentiates the madness
showing Lear gravitating towards Poor Tom and away from the Fool, and
adds the Fool's telling little half line 'And I'll go to bed at noon.'
It's a brilliant exit line (although no SD is marked) for someone fed up
to the back teeth with his current employer. He's off to find a paid
fooling job somewhere else.
Anyone involved in the current pay dispute in Higher Education in the UK
should understand how he feels.
Yours in solidarity,
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