Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty According to my bond; no more nor less. Good my lord, You have begot me, bred me, lov'd me: I Return those duties back as are right fit, Obey you, love you, and most honour you. Why have my sisters husbands if they say They love you all? Haply, when I shall wed, That lord whose hand must take my plight shall carry Half my love with him, half my care and duty: Sure I shall never marry like my sisters, To love my father all.
But goes thy heart with this? Ay, good my lord. So young, and so untender? So young, my lord, and true. Let it be so,--thy truth then be thy dower: For, by the sacred radiance of the sun, The mysteries of Hecate, and the night; By all the operation of the orbs, From whom we do exist and cease to be; Here I disclaim all my paternal care, Propinquity, and property of blood, And as a stranger to my heart and me Hold thee, from this for ever.
The barbarous Scythian, Or he that makes his generation messes To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom Be as well neighbour'd, pitied, and reliev'd, As thou my sometime daughter. Good my liege,-- Lear. Come not between the dragon and his wrath. I lov'd her most, and thought to set my rest On her kind nursery. Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her. I do invest you jointly in my power, Pre-eminence, and all the large effects That troop with majesty. Only we still retain The name, and all the additions to a king; The sway, Revenue, execution of the rest, Beloved sons, be yours; which to confirm, This coronet part betwixt you.
Royal Lear, Whom I have ever honour'd as my king, Lov'd as my father, as my master follow'd, As my great patron thought on in my prayers. The bow is bent and drawn; make from the shaft. Let it fall rather, though the fork invade The region of my heart: What wouldst thou do, old man? Think'st thou that duty shall have dread to speak When power to flattery bows?
To plainness honour's bound When majesty falls to folly. Reverse thy state; And in thy best consideration check This hideous rashness: Kent, on thy life, no more. My life I never held but as a pawn To wage against thine enemies; nor fear to lose it, Thy safety being the motive. Out of my sight! See better, Lear; and let me still remain The true blank of thine eye. Now, by Apollo,-- Kent. Now by Apollo, king, Thou swear'st thy gods in vain. Do; Kill thy physician, and the fee bestow Upon the foul disease.
Revoke thy gift, Or, whilst I can vent clamour from my throat, I'll tell thee thou dost evil. On thine allegiance, hear me! Five days we do allot thee for provision To shield thee from diseases of the world; And on the sixth to turn thy hated back Upon our kingdom: Edgar babbles madly while Lear denounces his daughters. Kent leads them all to shelter.
Edmund betrays Gloucester to Cornwall, Regan, and Goneril. He reveals evidence that his father knows of an impending French invasion designed to reinstate Lear to the throne; and in fact a French army has landed in Britain. Once Edmund leaves with Goneril to warn Albany about the invasion, Gloucester is arrested, and Regan and Cornwall gouge out Gloucester's eyes.
As he is doing so, a servant is overcome with rage by what he is witnessing and attacks Cornwall, mortally wounding him. Regan kills the servant, and tells Gloucester that Edmund betrayed him; then she turns him out to wander the heath , too. Edgar, in his madman's guise, meets his blinded father on the heath.
Gloucester, sightless and failing to recognise Edgar's voice, begs him to lead him to a cliff at Dover so that he may jump to his death. Goneril discovers that she finds Edmund more attractive than her honest husband Albany, whom she regards as cowardly. Albany has developed a conscience — he is disgusted by the sisters' treatment of Lear and Gloucester -- and denounces his wife. Goneril sends Edmund back to Regan.
After receiving news of Cornwall's death, she fears her newly widowed sister may steal Edmund and sends him a letter through Oswald. Now alone with Lear, Kent leads him to the French army, which is commanded by Cordelia. But Lear is half-mad and terribly embarrassed by his earlier follies. At Regan's instigation, Albany joins his forces with hers against the French. Goneril's suspicions about Regan's motives are confirmed and returned, as Regan rightly guesses the meaning of her letter and declares to Oswald that she is a more appropriate match for Edmund.
Edgar pretends to lead Gloucester to a cliff, then changes his voice and tells Gloucester he has miraculously survived a great fall. Lear appears, by now completely mad.
Le Drame du Roi Lear
He rants that the whole world is corrupt and runs off. Oswald appears, still looking for Edmund. On Regan's orders, he tries to kill Gloucester but is killed by Edgar. In Oswald's pocket, Edgar finds Goneril's letter, in which she encourages Edmund to kill her husband and take her as his wife. Kent and Cordelia take charge of Lear, whose madness quickly passes. Regan, Goneril, Albany, and Edmund meet with their forces. Albany insists that they fight the French invaders but not harm Lear or Cordelia.
The two sisters lust for Edmund, who has made promises to both. He considers the dilemma and plots the deaths of Albany, Lear, and Cordelia. Edgar gives Goneril's letter to Albany. The armies meet in battle, the British defeat the French, and Lear and Cordelia are captured. Edmund sends Lear and Cordelia off with secret-joint orders from him representing Regan and her forces and Goneril representing the forces of her estranged husband, Albany for the execution of Cordelia.
The victorious British leaders meet, and the recently widowed Regan now declares she will marry Edmund. But Albany exposes the intrigues of Edmund and Goneril and proclaims Edmund a traitor. Regan falls ill, having been poisoned by Goneril, and is escorted offstage, where she dies.
Edmund defies Albany, who calls for a trial by combat. Edgar appears masked and in armour, and challenges Edmund to a duel. No one knows who he is. Edgar wounds Edmund fatally, though he does not die immediately. Albany confronts Goneril with the letter which was intended to be his death warrant; she flees in shame and rage. Edgar reveals himself, and reports that Gloucester died offstage from the shock and joy of learning that Edgar is alive, after Edgar revealed himself to his father.
Offstage, Goneril, her plans thwarted, commits suicide. The dying Edmund decides, though he admits it is against his own character, to try to save Lear and Cordelia; however, his confession comes too late. Soon after, Albany sends men to countermand Edmund's orders, Lear enters bearing Cordelia's corpse in his arms, having survived by killing the executioner. Kent appears and Lear now recognises him. Albany urges Lear to resume his throne, but as with Gloucester, the trials Lear has been through, including the hanging of his fool, have finally overwhelmed him, and he dies.
Albany then asks Kent and Edgar to take charge of the throne. Kent declines, explaining that his master is calling him on a journey and he must follow. Finally, Albany in the Quarto version or Edgar in the Folio version implies that he will now become king. Holinshed himself found the story in the earlier Historia Regum Britanniae by Geoffrey of Monmouth , which was written in the 12th century. Edmund Spenser 's The Faerie Queene , published , also contains a character named Cordelia, who also dies from hanging , as in King Lear.
The source of the subplot involving Gloucester, Edgar, and Edmund is a tale in Philip Sidney 's Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia —90 , with a blind Paphlagonian king and his two sons, Leonatus and Plexitrus. Besides the subplot involving the Earl of Gloucester and his sons, the principal innovation Shakespeare made to this story was the death of Cordelia and Lear at the end; in the account by Geoffrey of Monmouth, Cordelia restores Lear to the throne, and succeeds him as ruler after his death.
During the 17th century, Shakespeare's tragic ending was much criticised and alternative versions were written by Nahum Tate , in which the leading characters survived and Edgar and Cordelia were married despite the fact that Cordelia was previously betrothed to the King of France.
Although an exact date of composition cannot be given, many academic editors of the play date King Lear between and The latest it could have been written is , as the Stationers' Register notes a performance on 26 December The date originates from words in Edgar's speeches which may derive from Samuel Harsnett 's Declaration of Egregious Popish Impostures Foakes argues for a date of —6, because one of Shakespeare's sources, The True Chronicle History of King Leir , was not published until ; close correspondences between that play and Shakespeare's suggest that he may have been working from a text rather than from recollections of a performance.
Naseeb Shaheen dates the play c per line 1. The modern text of King Lear derives from three sources: The differences between these versions are significant. Q 1 contains lines not in F 1 ; F 1 contains around lines not in Q 1. Also, at least a thousand individual words are changed between the two texts, each text has a completely different style of punctuation, and about half the verse lines in the F 1 are either printed as prose or differently divided in the Q 1. The early editors, beginning with Alexander Pope , simply conflated the two texts, creating the modern version that has remained nearly universal for centuries.
The conflated version is born from the hypothesis that Shakespeare wrote only one original manuscript, now unfortunately lost, and that the Quarto and Folio versions are distortions of that original. Others, such as Nuttall and Bloom, have identified Shakespeare himself as having been involved in reworking passages in the play to accommodate performances and other textual requirements of the play. As early as , Madeleine Doran suggested that the two texts had basically different provenances, and that these differences between them were critically interesting.
This argument, however, was not widely discussed until the late s, when it was revived, principally by Michael Warren and Gary Taylor. Their thesis, while controversial, has gained significant acceptance. It posits, essentially, that the Quarto derives from something close to Shakespeare's foul papers , and the Folio is drawn in some way from a promptbook, prepared for production by Shakespeare's company or someone else.
Join Kobo & start eReading today
In short, Q 1 is "authorial"; F 1 is "theatrical". The New Cambridge Shakespeare has published separate editions of Q and F; the most recent Pelican Shakespeare edition contains both the Quarto and the Folio text as well as a conflated version; the New Arden edition edited by R. Foakes is the only recent edition to offer the traditional conflated text. Both Anthony Nuttall of Oxford University and Harold Bloom of Yale University have endorsed the view of Shakespeare having revised the tragedy at least once during his lifetime. Nuttall speculates that Edgar, like Shakespeare himself, usurps the power of manipulating the audience by deceiving poor Gloucester.
The words "nature," "natural" and "unnatural" occur over forty times in the play, reflecting a debate in Shakespeare's time about what nature really was like; this debate pervades the play and finds symbolic expression in Lear's changing attitude to Thunder. There are two strongly contrasting views of human nature in the play: Along with the two views of Nature, Lear contains two views of Reason, brought out in Gloucester and Edmund's speeches on astrology 1.
The rationality of the Edmund party is one with which a modern audience more readily identifies. But the Edmund party carries bold rationalism to such extremes that it becomes madness: This betrayal of reason lies behind the play's later emphasis on feeling. The two Natures and the two Reasons imply two societies.
Edmund is the New Man, a member of an age of competition, suspicion, glory, in contrast with the older society which has come down from the Middle Ages, with its belief in co-operation, reasonable decency, and respect for the whole as greater than the part. King Lear is thus an allegory. The older society, that of the medieval vision, with its doting king, falls into error, and is threatened by the new Machiavellianism ; it is regenerated and saved by a vision of a new order, embodied in the king's rejected daughter.
Cordelia, in the allegorical scheme, is threefold: Nevertheless, Shakespeare's understanding of the New Man is so extensive as to amount almost to sympathy. Edmund is the last great expression in Shakespeare of that side of Renaissance individualism — the energy, the emancipation, the courage — which has made a positive contribution to the heritage of the West. But he makes an absolute claim which Shakespeare will not support. It is right for man to feel, as Edmund does, that society exists for man, not man for society. It is not right to assert the kind of man Edmund would erect to this supremacy.
The play offers an alternative to the feudal-Machiavellian polarity, an alternative foreshadowed in France's speech I. Until the decent society is achieved, we are meant to take as role-model though qualified by Shakespearean ironies Edgar, "the machiavel of goodness",  endurance, courage and "ripeness". The play also contains references to disputes between King James I and Parliament.
Just as the House of Commons had argued to James that their loyalty was to the constitution of England, not to the King personally, Kent insists his loyalty is institutional, not personal, as he is loyal to the realm of which the king is head, not to Lear himself, and he tells Lear to behave better for the good of the realm.
Furthermore, James VI of Scotland inherited the throne of England upon the death of Elizabeth I in , thereby uniting all of the kingdoms of the British isles into one, and a major issue of his reign was the attempt to forge a common British identity.
King Lear provides a basis for "the primary enactment of psychic breakdown in English literary history". According to Kahn, Lear's old age forces him to regress into an infantile disposition, and he now seeks a love that is traditionally satisfied by a mothering woman, but in the absence of a real mother, his daughters become the mother figures. Lear's contest of love between Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia serves as the binding agreement; his daughters will get their inheritance provided that they care for him, especially Cordelia, on whose "kind nursery" he will greatly depend.
Cordelia's refusal to dedicate herself to him and love him as more than a father has been interpreted by some as a resistance to incest , but Kahn also inserts the image of a rejecting mother. Even when Lear and Cordelia are captured together, his madness persists as Lear envisions a nursery in prison, where Cordelia's sole existence is for him.
It is only with Cordelia's death that his fantasy of a daughter-mother ultimately diminishes, as King Lear concludes with only male characters living. Sigmund Freud asserted that Cordelia symbolises Death. Therefore, when the play begins with Lear rejecting his daughter, it can be interpreted as him rejecting death; Lear is unwilling to face the finitude of his being. The play's poignant ending scene, wherein Lear carries the body of his beloved Cordelia, was of great importance to Freud. In this scene, Cordelia forces the realization of his finitude, or as Freud put it, she causes him to "make friends with the necessity of dying".
Alternatively, an analysis based on Adlerian theory suggests that the King's contest among his daughters in Act I has more to do with his control over the unmarried Cordelia. In his study of the character-portrayal of Edmund, Harold Bloom refers to him as "Shakespeare's most original character". Freud's vision of family romances simply does not apply to Edmund. Iago is free to reinvent himself every minute, yet Iago has strong passions, however negative.
Edmund has no passions whatsoever; he has never loved anyone, and he never will. In that respect, he is Shakespeare's most original character. The tragedy of Lear's lack of understanding of the consequences of his demands and actions is often observed to be like that of a spoiled child, but it has also been noted that his behaviour is equally likely to be seen in parents who have never adjusted to their children having grown up. Critics are divided on the question of whether or not King Lear represents an affirmation of a particular Christian doctrine. By , sermons delivered at court such as those at Windsor declared how "rich men are rich dust, wise men wise dust From him that weareth purple, and beareth the crown down to him that is clad with meanest apparel, there is nothing but garboil, and ruffle, and hoisting, and lingering wrath, and fear of death and death itself, and hunger, and many a whip of God.
Le roi Lear by William Shakespeare
Among those who argue that Lear is redeemed in the Christian sense through suffering are A. Bradley  and John Reibetanz, who has written: Elton stresses the pre-Christian setting of the play, writing that, "Lear fulfills the criteria for pagan behavior in life," falling "into total blasphemy at the moment of his irredeemable loss".
Lear himself has been played by Marianne Hoppe in ,  by Janet Wright in ,  by Kathryn Hunter in —97,  and by Glenda Jackson in Shakespeare wrote the role of Lear for his company's chief tragedian, Richard Burbage , for whom Shakespeare was writing incrementally older characters as their careers progressed. Lear's costume, for example, would have changed in the course of the play as his status diminished: All theatres were closed down by the Puritan government on 6 September Upon the restoration of the monarchy in , two patent companies the King's Company and the Duke's Company were established, and the existing theatrical repertoire divided between them.
Its most significant deviations from Shakespeare were to omit the Fool entirely, to introduce a happy ending in which Lear and Cordelia survive, and to develop a love story between Cordelia and Edgar two characters who never interact in Shakespeare which ends with their marriage. In the early 18th century, some writers began to express objections to this and other Restoration adaptations of Shakespeare.
David Garrick was the first actor-manager to begin to cut back on elements of Tate's adaptation in favour of Shakespeare's original: Lear driven to madness by his daughters was in the words of one spectator, Arthur Murphy "the finest tragic distress ever seen on any stage" and, in contrast, the devotion shown to Lear by Cordelia a mix of Shakespeare's, Tate's and Garrick's contributions to the part moved the audience to tears.
The first professional performances of King Lear in North America are likely to have been those of the Hallam Company later the American Company which arrived in Virginia in and who counted the play among their repertoire by the time of their departure for Jamaica in Charles Lamb established the Romantics ' attitude to King Lear in his essay "On the Tragedies of Shakespeare, considered with reference to their fitness for stage representation" where he says that the play "is essentially impossible to be represented on the stage", preferring to experience it in the study.
In the theatre, he argues, "to see Lear acted, to see an old man tottering about the stage with a walking-stick, turned out of doors by his daughters on a rainy night, has nothing in it but what is painful and disgusting" yet "while we read it, we see not Lear but we are Lear, — we are in his mind, we are sustained by a grandeur which baffles the malice of daughters and storms. King Lear was politically controversial during the period of George III 's madness, and as a result was not performed at all in the two professional theatres of London from to Like Garrick before him, John Philip Kemble had introduced more of Shakespeare's text, while still preserving the three main elements of Tate's version: Edmund Kean played King Lear with its tragic ending in , but failed and reverted to Tate's crowd-pleaser after only three performances.
In , the Act for Regulating the Theatres came into force, bringing an end to the monopolies of the two existing companies and, by doing so, increased the number of theatres in London. He is leaning on a huge scabbarded sword which he raises with a wild cry in answer to the shouted greeting of his guards. His gait, his looks, his gestures, all reveal the noble, imperious mind already degenerating into senile irritability under the coming shocks of grief and age. The importance of pictorialism to Irving, and to other theatre professionals of the Victorian era, is exemplified by the fact that Irving had used Ford Madox Brown 's painting Cordelia's Portion as the inspiration for the look of his production, and that the artist himself was brought in to provide sketches for the settings of other scenes.
Poel was influenced by a performance of King Lear directed by Jocza Savits at the Hoftheater in Munich in , set on an apron stage with a three-tier Globe -like reconstruction theatre as its backdrop. Poel would use this same configuration for his own Shakespearean performances in By mid-century, the actor-manager tradition had declined, to be replaced by a structure where the major theatre companies employed professional directors as auteurs.
The last of the great actor-managers, Donald Wolfit , played Lear in on a Stonehenge-like set and was praised by James Agate as "the greatest piece of Shakespearean acting since I have been privileged to write for the Sunday Times ". The character of Lear in the 19th century was often that of a frail old man from the opening scene, but Lears of the 20th century often began the play as strong men displaying regal authority, including John Gielgud , Donald Wolfit and Donald Sinden.
For example, Peggy Ashcroft , at the RST in , played the role in a breastplate and carrying a sword. At Stratford-upon-Avon in Peter Brook who would later film the play with the same actor, Paul Scofield , in the role of Lear set the action simply, against a huge, empty white stage. The effect of the scene when Lear and Gloucester meet, two tiny figures in rags in the midst of this emptiness, was said by the scholar Roger Warren to catch "both the human pathos John Lennon happened upon the play on the BBC Third Programme while fiddling with the radio while working on the song.
Like other Shakespearean tragedies, King Lear has proved amenable to conversion into other theatrical traditions. In , David McRuvie and Iyyamkode Sreedharan adapted the play then translated it to Malayalam , for performance in Kerala in the Kathakali tradition — which itself developed around , contemporary with Shakespeare's writing. The show later went on tour, and in played at Shakespeare's Globe , completing, according to Anthony Dawson, "a kind of symbolic circle". A pivotal moment occurred when the Jingju performer playing Older Daughter a conflation of Goneril and Regan stabbed the Noh -performed Lear whose "falling pine" deadfall, straight face-forward into the stage, astonished the audience, in what Yong Li Lan describes as a "triumph through the moving power of noh performance at the very moment of his character's defeat".
The performance was conceived as a chamber piece, the small intimate space and proximity to the audience enabled detailed psychological acting, which was performed with simple sets and in modern dress. Brook's earlier vision of the play proved influential, and directors have gone further in presenting Lear as in the words of R.
Foakes "a pathetic senior citizen trapped in a violent and hostile environment". When John Wood took the role in , he played the later scenes in clothes that looked like cast-offs, inviting deliberate parallels with the uncared-for in modern Western societies. In and , the Hudson Shakespeare Company of New Jersey staged separate productions as part of their respective Shakespeare in the Parks seasons.
The version was directed by Michael Collins and transposed the action to a West Indies, nautical setting. Actors were featured in outfits indicative of looks of various Caribbean islands. The production directed by Jon Ciccarelli was fashioned after the atmosphere of the film The Dark Knight with a palette of reds and blacks and set the action in an urban setting.
Lear Tom Cox appeared as a head of multi-national conglomerate who divided up his fortune among his socialite daughter Goneril Brenda Scott , his officious middle daughter Regan Noelle Fair and university daughter Cordelia Emily Best. This production starred David Fox as Lear. About the madness at the heart of the play, Rush said that for him "it's about finding the dramatic impact in the moments of his mania.
What seems to work best is finding a vulnerability or a point of empathy, where an audience can look at Lear and think how shocking it must be to be that old and to be banished from your family into the open air in a storm. That's a level of impoverishment you would never want to see in any other human being, ever. The performance was directed by Gregory Doran, and was described as having "strength and depth". Armin Shimerman appeared as the fool, portraying it with "an unusual grimness, but it works",  in a production that was hailed as "a devastating piece of theater, and a production that does it justice.
The first film of King Lear was a five-minute German version made around , which has not survived. Of these, the version by director Gerolamo Lo Savio was filmed on location, and it dropped the Edgar sub-plot and used frequent intertitling to make the plot easier to follow than its Vitagraph predecessor. The Joseph Mankiewicz House of Strangers is often considered a Lear adaptation, but the parallels are more striking in Broken Lance in which a cattle baron played by Spencer Tracy tyrannises over his three sons, of whom only the youngest, Joe, played by Robert Wagner , remains loyal.
The only two significant screen performances of Shakespeare's text date from the early s: Pauline Kael said "I didn't just dislike this production, I hated it!
By contrast, Korol Lir has been praised, for example by critic Alexander Anikst for the "serious, deeply thoughtful" even "philosophical approach" of director Grigori Kozintsev and writer Boris Pasternak. Making a thinly veiled criticism of Brook in the process, Anikst praised the fact that there were "no attempts at sensationalism, no efforts to 'modernise' Shakespeare by introducing Freudian themes, Existentialist ideas, eroticism, or sexual perversion. Hordern received mixed reviews, and was considered a bold choice due to his history of taking much lighter roles.
It was his last screen appearance in a Shakespearean role, its pathos deriving in part from the physical frailty of Olivier the actor.
Related roi Lear, Le (French Edition)
Copyright 2019 - All Right Reserved