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Forum Home > Shakespeare > Dr Emma Smith's 'King Lear' masterclasses

Neil Bowen
Administrator
Posts: 837

The masterclass will take place here on Sunday evening. 

April 27, 2013 at 8:50 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Emma Smith
Member
Posts: 221

Ready to take questions and discussion points on King Lear, so do sign in and fire away!

April 28, 2013 at 1:50 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Rosanna94
Member
Posts: 8

Hi! Just wondering how the fool is a 'natural' fool?


April 28, 2013 at 1:55 PM Flag Quote & Reply

purple-owl
Member
Posts: 7

Hi :) what is your view of the significance of clothes in the play?

April 28, 2013 at 1:56 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Jo
Member
Posts: 2

What do you think the main differences between Goneril and Regan are?

April 28, 2013 at 1:57 PM Flag Quote & Reply

MKS
Member
Posts: 1

Would you say Lear is a misogynist and has a fear of women (especially in reference to Goneril and Regan)?

April 28, 2013 at 1:57 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Emma Smith
Member
Posts: 221

Hi! Well, I guess the distinction people make is between learned. sophisticated fools and simple, ignorant ones. For me the Fool here is in the first category, although he's rather mysterious. What do you make of Lear as 'the natural fool of fortune'?


April 28, 2013 at 1:58 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Emma Smith
Member
Posts: 221

purple-owl at April 28, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Hi :) what is your view of the significance of clothes in the play?

Hmm - nice question. What examples are you thinking of? Lear's nakedness, I guess comes to mind? 

April 28, 2013 at 1:59 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Emma Smith
Member
Posts: 221

Jo at April 28, 2013 at 1:57 PM

What do you think the main differences between Goneril and Regan are?

I've always felt they were more similar than different - perhaps in the way that the play echoes the story of Cinderella, they are the two ugly sisters - and their sharing of Edmund seems to be designed to stress their similarities rather than their distinctiveness. What do you think? Are they clearly differentiated? 

April 28, 2013 at 1:59 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Emma Smith
Member
Posts: 221

MKS at April 28, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Would you say Lear is a misogynist and has a fear of women (especially in reference to Goneril and Regan)?

Well, I think there is certainly textual evidence to support that - 'down from the waist they are centaurs' etc. What do you think? 


April 28, 2013 at 2:01 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Emma Smith
Member
Posts: 221

Rosanna94 at April 28, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Hi! Just wondering how the fool is a 'natural' fool?


Sorry - answered without quoting your message:


Hi! Well, I guess the distinction people make is between learned. sophisticated fools and simple, ignorant ones. For me the Fool here is in the first category, although he's rather mysterious. What do you make of Lear as 'the natural fool of fortune'? 


April 28, 2013 at 2:02 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Rosanna94
Member
Posts: 8

Emma Smith at April 28, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Hi! Well, I guess the distinction people make is between learned. sophisticated fools and simple, ignorant ones. For me the Fool here is in the first category, although he's rather mysterious. What do you make of Lear as 'the natural fool of fortune'?


The fool gives Lear valuable advice throughout the play, so I would agree with you there! I wouldn't know, maybe about bad luck? Does he compare himself to the Fool?

April 28, 2013 at 2:03 PM Flag Quote & Reply

purple-owl
Member
Posts: 7

Emma Smith at April 28, 2013 at 1:59 PM

purple-owl at April 28, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Hi :) what is your view of the significance of clothes in the play?

Hmm - nice question. What examples are you thinking of? Lear's nakedness, I guess comes to mind? 

Yes, 'Off ye lendings' definitely comes to mind. Another example is the fact that Edgar disguises himself as an unclad beggar. Why do you think he chooses to be unclothed rather than dress up as a normal beggar?

April 28, 2013 at 2:03 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Emma Smith
Member
Posts: 221

Rosanna94 at April 28, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Emma Smith at April 28, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Hi! Well, I guess the distinction people make is between learned. sophisticated fools and simple, ignorant ones. For me the Fool here is in the first category, although he's rather mysterious. What do you make of Lear as 'the natural fool of fortune'?


The fool gives Lear valuable advice throughout the play, so I would agree with you there! I wouldn't know, maybe about bad luck? Does he compare himself to the Fool?

I guess one of the questions the fool asks is, who is the greater fool, the actual fool or the king who has given away his kingdom. One argument sometimes made for why the fool disappears without any explanation from the play is that Lear has become his own fool, or more of a fool than the Fool, if you see what I mean.

April 28, 2013 at 2:04 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Miti Shah
Member
Posts: 11

in Lear, is it fair to suggest that the fool and cordelia are interchangable as characters?

April 28, 2013 at 2:05 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Rosa Severino
Member
Posts: 2

What different interpretations of the eye gouging scene have you seen? What would you say is the most effective and why? Most unusual? I have showed my class the Trevor Nunn and Peter Brook version...

April 28, 2013 at 2:06 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Emma Smith
Member
Posts: 221

purple-owl at April 28, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Emma Smith at April 28, 2013 at 1:59 PM

purple-owl at April 28, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Hi :) what is your view of the significance of clothes in the play?

Hmm - nice question. What examples are you thinking of? Lear's nakedness, I guess comes to mind? 

Yes, 'Off ye lendings' definitely comes to mind. Another example is the fact that Edgar disguises himself as an unclad beggar. Why do you think he chooses to be unclothed rather than dress up as a normal beggar?

It may be that being improperly or inadequately dressed is the sign of being a begger - but I think you're right to think that it isn't primarily a realistic disguise. There's something metaphorical as well as literal about the nakedness - more humanity? less courtly flattery and deceit? 

There's a quotation about the nature of tragedy by the Elizabethan poet Philip Sidney, who says that tragedy itself is a kind of stripping bare, 'showing forth the ulcers that are covered with tissue [clothing or flesh]' - it's in his Defence of Poetry. 

April 28, 2013 at 2:06 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Miti Shah
Member
Posts: 11

The shelter they take during the storm, could it be compared with plato's republic, and specifically plato's cave?

April 28, 2013 at 2:07 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Rosanna94
Member
Posts: 8

Emma Smith at April 28, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Rosanna94 at April 28, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Emma Smith at April 28, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Hi! Well, I guess the distinction people make is between learned. sophisticated fools and simple, ignorant ones. For me the Fool here is in the first category, although he's rather mysterious. What do you make of Lear as 'the natural fool of fortune'?


The fool gives Lear valuable advice throughout the play, so I would agree with you there! I wouldn't know, maybe about bad luck? Does he compare himself to the Fool?

I guess one of the questions the fool asks is, who is the greater fool, the actual fool or the king who has given away his kingdom. One argument sometimes made for why the fool disappears without any explanation from the play is that Lear has become his own fool, or more of a fool than the Fool, if you see what I mean.

Yes, I see. There are other explanations for the Fool disapearing though aren't there? Like... he is linked with Cordelia so they can never be on stage at the same time. How do you interpret the line 'And my poor fool is hanged' ?

April 28, 2013 at 2:08 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Emma Smith
Member
Posts: 221

Miti Shah at April 28, 2013 at 2:05 PM

in Lear, is it fair to suggest that the fool and cordelia are interchangable as characters?

What do you think? I don't think they are interchangeable but they have some features in common - uncomfortable truth-tellers, unafraid of Lear etc. And I suppose there's the idea that they were probably played by the same actor, so there is a physical connection too. 

April 28, 2013 at 2:08 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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