Saturday, November 22, 2008

King Lear

Huzzah! for Shakespeare. I just finished King Lear (which, strangely enough, I never read in my college Shakespeare class). This may be my favorite Shakespearean tragedy, after Hamlet.

Every possible opinion about King Lear (as well as every possible "study guide"--useful or otherwise) seems to available online. But the line "Would it have killed [Cordelia] to flatter her father just a little?" made me laugh. Cordelia as a pointlessly stubborn troublemaker could make an interesting essay...

On a more serious literary note, I found this wonderful exploration of Mansfield Park as a retelling of King Lear by Susan Allen Ford. I wish the ending wasn't so abrupt (I would have liked more about the significance of Austen's conclusion), but Mansfield Park is my least favorite Austen story, so anything that helps me see Fanny Price as more than a Regency period Elsie Dinsmore is greatly appreciated.

The painting at top is by Edwin Austin Abbey. (See how evil Regan and Goneril look? They're like Lady Macbeth twins!) I also love Susan Herbert's Cat King Lear yowling against the storm.

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