If there was ever a historical King Lear, his memory has faded into mythology and/or been conflated with others. Llyr and his son Manannan are Celtic ocean-gods; Manannan reappeared in Yeats’s plays and the “Dungeons and Dragons” games. The “children of Lir / Llyr” were transformed into waterbirds in another Celtic myth. Anglo-Israelite lore describes (“Llyr Lleddiarth “Half-Speech”, king of Siluria / the Britains, father of Bran the Archdruid, who married Anna, the daughter of Joseph of Arimathea; his close relatives included Cymbeline (Cunobelinus, fictionalized in Shakespeare’s later play), and Caractacus (Caradoc), a well-attested historical figure better-known today from the children’s song (“It’s too late… they just passed by”). In the Mabinogion, one of Llyr’s two wives is Iweradd (“Ireland”). Continue reading Enjoying “King Lear”, by William Shakespeare
King Lear, by William Shakespeare, is a tragic tale of filial conflict, personal transformation, and loss. The story revolves around the King who foolishly alienates his only truly devoted daughter and realizes too late the true nature of his other two daughters. A major subplot involves the illegitimate son of Gloucester, Edmund, who plans to discredit his brother Edgar and betray his father. With these and other major characters in the play, Shakespeare clearly asserts that human nature is either entirely good, or entirely evil. Some characters experience a transformative phase, where by some trial or ordeal their nature is profoundly changed. We shall examine Shakespeare's stand on human nature in King Lear by looking at specific characters in the play: Cordelia who is wholly good, Edmund who is wholly evil, and Lear whose nature is transformed by the realization of his folly and his descent into madness.
One of Lear's three daughters. Having received her moiety of Lear's kingdom, the unnatural daughter first abridged the old man's retinue, then gave him to understand that his company was troublesome. (Shakespeare: King Lear.) Goneril and Regan
There is little good to be said for Lear's older daughters, who are largely indistinguishable in their villainy and spite. Goneril and Regan are clever Continue reading Goneril
Three little kittens,
They lost their mittens,
And they began to cry,
Oh, mother dear,
We sadly fear
Our mittens we have lost.
What! Lost your mittens,
You naughty kittens!
Then you shall have no pie.
Mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow.
You shall have no pie.
This is from the hit 1940 Broadway stage show Pal Joey, starring Gene Kelly (a big break for him), June Havoc (who was immortalized as "Baby June" in "Gypsy") and Van Johnson. "Bewitched" was introduced by star Vivienne Segal. It was written by the team of Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers, better known as Rogers and Hart. When Hart died, Rodgers wrote with Oscar Hammerstein such shows as South Pacific, The King and I, and Sound of Music. (thanks, Janna – Los Angeles, CA)