King lear critical essays | Sales Architects
King Lear: Critical Essays Kenneth Muir Limited preview - 2015
It is also of the utmost importance that Tate transfers the gulling of Gloucester off the stage. Edmund, in this version, has already deceived his father at the time that he is first met by the audience, such that we cannot watch Gloucester deceiving himself even as Edmund attempts to dissuade him. The guilt which accrues to Shakespeare's Gloucester for his suspicion, which transgresses the natural order as Cordelia frames it, does not fall upon the head of Tate's Gloucester, who is presented as solely a victim of Edmund's machinations. At the same time, the injustice of Edmund's disinheritance is downplayed by Tate in making Cordelia's disinheritance a deliberate and voluntary act on her part to escape the marriage arrangements being made by her father, as well as in removing entirely Edmund's case regarding the succession of generations. Just as the first two lines of Edmund's soliloquy are intellectually orphaned by the later emendations, so here Kent's outburst at Lear, "What wilt thou doe, old Man?", is stranded as an uncharacteristically petty and cruel barb to come from so old and dear a friend of the king since Lear's age, absent the ideas Edmund imputes to Edgar, has become entirely irrelevant to their argument.
King lear critical essay - Subliminal Tattoo Family
But Buckley, not intending to "subvert in any way the generous emotions of sympathy and detestation of vileness which Shakespeare so obviously meant to arouse in our breasts when he wrote King Lear" (94), passes with only the barest observation over a most salient fact, which is that Gloucester is guilty of high treason (91). Though the first letter by which Edmund's trap was set was a "nothing" of Edmund's own devising, the second, by which he deposes Gloucester and actually comes into possession of the lands originally destined for Edgar (the value of which as a symbol for his triumph over legal disability he had affirmed in his first soliloquy), is a something. It is a genuine letter that incriminates Gloucester as "adhering to the king's enemies" and "aiding them in or out of the realm" with the intent of "levying war in the king's dominions". Recognizing the necessary familiarity of Shakespeare and the London audience with the technical ins and outs of these legal matters, we must conclude that there is a deliberate significance to the fact that Edmund, whose status outside the realm of law and custom as an agent of Nature was so baldly declared in the second scene, is indicted under the law of men for a crime he did not commit, while his father is, in fact, guilty. If the play had, by the fifth act, left us in doubt over the relative moral merits of Gloucester and his bastard son, their legal status at the end of the play seems intended to resolve them.