Tag Archives: the Fool

“The oldest hath borne most; we that are young/Shall never see so much, nor live so long.”

King Lear Act Five, Part Four By Dennis Abrams ———————– To continue with Mark Van Doren: “As the third act opens we listen to a gentleman telling Kent that Lear has made the plunge: he has disappeared into a world … Continue reading

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“The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices/Make instruments to plague us.”

King Lear Act Five, Part Three By Dennis Abrams ————————— From Marjorie Garber’s Shakespeare and Modern Culture: “Shakespeare’s King Lear was written and performed at a moment of high volatility and change in the use of mathematics, pictorial perspective, and, … Continue reading

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“Men must endure/Their going hence, even as their coming hither: Ripeness is all.”

King Lear Act Five, Part Two By Dennis Abrams ——————————————- To continue with Harold Bloom: “The double plot of King Lear adds considerable complexity to what would already be the most emotionally demanding of Shakespeare’s plays, even if the grim … Continue reading

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“The worst is not/So long as we can say ‘This is the worst.’’’

King Lear Act Four, Part Two By Dennis Abrams ————————————– From Harold Bloom: “If we could speak of a poetic rather than dramatic center to the tragedy, we might choose the meeting between the mad King Lear and blind Gloucester … Continue reading

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“When we are born, we cry that we are come/To this great stage of fools.”

King Lear Act Four, Part One By Dennis Abrams ———————————- Act Four:  Edgar finds his blinded father who – not recognizing his son – asks to be taken to Dover to commit suicide.  Edmund, Goneril and Oswald enter, discussing Albany’s … Continue reading

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“Poor naked wretches, whereso’er you are,/That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm”

King Lear Act Three, Part Three By Dennis Abrams ————————————- I’d like to talk a bit more about Lear’s (and my) beloved Fool before we say goodbye to him. In the Quarto the Fool’s role ends with his participation in … Continue reading

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“See what breeds about her heart./Is there any cause in nature that makes these hard hearts?”

King Lear Act Three, Part Two By Dennis Abrams ————————————– From Tony Tanner: “But of course foldings and pleatings and wrappings directly evoke clothing, and not for nothing are Goneril and Regan ‘gourgeously’ arrayed. There is much changing of clothes … Continue reading

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“Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks!”

King Lear Act Three, Part One By Dennis Abrams ——————————————– Act Three:  Lear appears with the Fool, raging against the storm and his daughters’ cruelty. Kent arrives and tries to persuade them to shelter in a nearby hovel, where the … Continue reading

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“I have full cause of weeping, but this heart/Shall break into a hundred thousand flaws/Or e’er I’ll weep. O fool, I shall go mad.”

King Lear Act Two, Part Three By Dennis Abrams ————————————— For my Sunday evening post, and before we dive into Act Three (perhaps the pinnacle OF the pinnacle that is King Lear), I thought we should step back a bit … Continue reading

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“The Fool remains a better critic of Lear than all later resenters of the king, because he accepts Lear’s sublimity and uniqueness and they cannot.”

King Lear Act Two, Part Two By Dennis Abrams ————————————- To start, a bit about the Fool.  It’s the changes in the Folio that affect the Fool more than other character in the play.  And in fact, his dramatic importance … Continue reading

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