The Complex Family Dynamics of King Lear

TW: emotional abuse, violence, dementia As I was watching the Stratford Shakespeare Festival’s recent stream of King Lear, I was confronted with a feeling I didn’t expect: empathy for Goneril. This was my first experience with King Lear and all I had heard was that Lear was horribly abused by his two evil daughters. I... Continue Reading →

King Lear Part 3

Act IV, Scene 1While reflecting on his sorry state, Edgar sees his father being led by an old man. It quickly becomes clear that Gloucester has no eyes. The old man is one of Gloucester’s tenant farmers. Gloucester doesn’t want his help for fear that they would punish the old man. They notice “Poor Tom”... Continue Reading →

King Lear Part 2

Act II, Scene 2Kent, the King’s messenger, meets Oswald, Goneril’s messenger, outside of Gloucester’s castle. Oswald appears not to recognize Kent as he asks him where to tie up his horse. Kent does not take too kindly to this and unleashes a barrage of insults onto Oswald. (Probably unleashing years of bottled up contempt.) He... Continue Reading →

King Lear Part 1

Act I, Scene 1Kent and Gloucester discuss which of the King’s son-in-laws will likely inherit the kingdom. At first, it seems he preferred the Duke of Alban, but now it’s hard to tell. Kent turns to Edmund and asks Gloucester if that’s his son. It’s not. It’s his wife’s son though. Gloucester uncomfortably rags on... Continue Reading →

Domestic Violence in Othello

TW: emotional abuse, physical abuse, and murder In the wake of the #MeToo movement and a growing awareness of domestic violence issues, it makes sense for recent production of Othello to highlight the abuse Desdemona endures. It makes sense because of our current societal discourse and because Othello provides a great look into what abuse... Continue Reading →

MacBeth Part 3

Act IV, Scene 3MacDuff has come to see Malcolm, the rightful heir to the throne. MacDuff urges Malcolm to fight and take Scotland back. Malcolm is suspicious of MacDuff though. It wasn’t that long ago that MacDuff loved MacBeth. In addition, MacBeth has not done any grievous wrong to MacDuff. AND he left his wife... Continue Reading →

MacBeth Part 2

Act III, Scene 1Banquo is concerned that MacBeth acquired the crown through nefarious means. However, since the witches were right about MacBeth, they should be right about him. That should make him happy, shouldn’t it? Macbeth, Lady MacBeth, and their royal posse enter. MacBeth invites Banquo to dinner. Banquo is going riding, but promises to... Continue Reading →

MacBeth Part 1

Act I, Scene 1The witches set their plans to meet MacBeth at sunset on the heath after battle. Act I, Scene 2The King gets reports on what happened with the battle. MacBeth and Banquo defeated the Norwegians, even when hope seems lost. They were pretty much just the best. That sergeant needed to leave though... Continue Reading →

Othello Part 3

Act IV, Scene 1Iago is trying to calm Othello down, who is absolutely certain that Desdemona and Cassio kissed. Iago doesn’t seem the harm in a kiss or even laying naked together if nothing happened. This, understandably enrages Othello. It’s hypocritical to give into temptation just enough to not actually sin. Iago tries a new... Continue Reading →

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