Shakespeare designed this playwright to display the tragedy of a King who slowly goes mad, however in order to reach sanity sometimes one must go completely out of their mind to gain the wisdom in telling the difference....
However, these feelings eventually morph into a sense of resolution as Lear gains understanding of his past mistakes and displays an unwavering resolve as a result....
New book The One King Lear by Sir Brian Vickers attempts to tackle a long-held belief about the most authoritative version of Shakespeare's tragedy
Brent Stansell is a theatre educator, dramaturg, actor, and arts administrator based in Washington, DC. As an educator he has taught at The Catholic University of America, The George Washington University, American University, and Montgomery College, and as an affiliated teaching artist with the Folger Theatre, Round House Theatre, and Shakespeare Theatre Company, where he currently works as the Training Programs Manager. Brent has also taught at Brooklyn College, where he completed an M.F.A. in Dramaturgy. As a professional dramaturg, he has devised original work with his theatre company DC Theatre Collective, developed new plays with many playwrights and with The Inkwell, and has worked on productions with companies such as Round House Theatre and Forum Theatre. Brent has worked as an actor with several companies including Rorschach Theatre and the National Player’s Tour 55 out of the Olney Theatre Center. He has a B.A. in Dramatic Literature and in English with honors from The George Washington University.
However, a revisionist movement in the '70s and '80s claimed Shakespeare himself had shortened the Folio; and that, in fact, the two copies existed as separate versions of the play. Though a conflated version of both copies is still most regularly performed, many now consider the Folio the more perfected and more authoritative version.
Shakespeare has written one of the greatest tragedies of all time with this play and from the very start, has provided no cushion of happiness for his viewers.
In addition, the breaking of the filial bond provides this necessary hardship for Lear which elicits both a feeling of pity for his state of affairs and retribution for the vanity which previously consumed him.
An important fragment that Kierkegaard wrote when he was twenty-five is on the so-called "Great Earthquake", when he came to an understanding about his father and the entire family. His father had cursed God due to his hardship and poverty as a shepherd child. Even though shortly later he was rescued from this life and became very prosperous, he felt that the blessings upon his family were an irony, and in fact God's revenge. This despair was inherited by his children, five of whom died prematurely, including his wife. Significantly, this entry is preceded by a quote from King Lear, Act 5 Scene 3.
In a similar fashion, Anne Bradby (2004) described Shakespeare’s Lear as having an “atmosphere of unparalleled rapine, cruelty, and bodily pain” as central to its plots and themes (a theme also touched on by other critics such as G....
William Shakespeare has single handedly captured and embraced this necessary feeling and has allowed us to view in on it through the characters in his two masterpieces, Othello and King Lear.
, of course, be an exaggeration to say that the history of the story of King Lear is a history of art. Far back of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia regum Britanniae, in which Lear’s story makes its first appearance in literature, is a folk tale of a daughter who angers her father by telling him that she loves him as much as salt, but this story already has shape, although the shape of art in embryo. It is a narrative riddle, depending upon the double meaning of a word, and when the real meaning is recognized by the father, through some device such as serving him a feast without salt, both the anger of the father and the story dissolve. That the story appears in many variants indicates the universality of its appeal, but the emotions it aroused must have been limited largely to common curiosity in verbal puzzles and the pleasure, not confined to children, of discovering that children are more subtle than their parents. A narrative riddle, then, such as might be added to the collections of the Grimm brothers is the prototype of the story that Shakespeare transformed into a tragedy. That the history of the Lear story concludes in a consummation of art is testified to by another kind of history—the history of men’s literary affections: tragedy, on the whole, has proved to be the most moving of literary forms, and to most critics King Lear, although not the most flawless, is the most tragic of Shakespeare’s tragedies.
The recurrent imagery of human senses and of "nothing," the distortion of familial and social ties, the gradual dissolution of Lear's kingship, all make their first appearances in the first lines of Shakespeare's play.
But the accomplished writer gives his selected material more than shape—he gives it proper size. For a piece of writing to have its proper size is an excellent thing, or otherwise it would be lacking in intelligibility or interest or both. Thus, if Lear’s anger had been transformed into madness in a single scene, all the odds are that such a transformation would seem beyond belief, and it is just as certain that the play would have died in the memory of men for want of suspense. On the other hand, the madness of Lear could have been drawn at such length that the spectator, like Kent, could not continue to view the suffering or, worse still, until the spectator began to suspect an author was manipulating suffering for suspense—and in either case the spectator would feel that he had seen too much. Moreover, the size of any literary particle is not a matter of quantity only. Every art has ways of making a thing seem bigger or smaller than the space it occupies, as Cordelia is more wonderful by far than the number of lines she utters and is even tragically present when she is tragically absent, and as Lear becomes more gigantic when he can utter only a few lines or broken lines or none at all.