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 →

Witches, Ghosts, and Murder Most Foul

The Best Shakespeare Scenes for Halloween Today’s the day, Halloween! It’s time for trick or treat and spooks and scares. What better way to celebrate than by reading some Shakespeare?! I know what you’re thinking “I have candy to eat. I don’t have time for Shakespeare.” Don’t be silly, of course you have time for... Continue Reading →

Book Review: Tyrant by Stephen Greenblatt

“Why would anyone, he asked himself, be drawn to a leader manifestly unsuited to govern, someone dangerously impulsive or viciously conniving or indifferent to the truth? Why, in some circumstances, does evidence of mendacity, crudeness, or cruelty serve not as a fatal disadvantage, but as an allure, attracting ardent followers? Why do otherwise proud and... Continue Reading →

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