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Enjoying “King Lear”, by William Shakespeare

by Ed Friedlander M.D.
erf@kcumb.edu

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”).
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Analysis of King Lear

 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.

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Goneril

Image 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

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Rub a dub dub

Three men in a tubRub a dub dub,
Three men in a tub;
And who do you think they be?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick-maker;
Turn 'em out, knaves all three!

Rub-a-dub-dub,
Three men in a tub,
And how do you think they got there?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick-maker,
They all jumped out of a rotten potato,
'Twas enough to make a man stare.

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Three little kittens

Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme

Three little kittens 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.

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Little Bunny Foo Foo

Written By: Unknown
Copyright Unknown

Little Bunny Foo Foo,
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin' 'em on the head

Down came the good fairy and she said

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This Old Man

This old man, he played one
He played knick-knack on his thumb
With a knick-knack, paddy-wack, give the dog a bone
This old man came rolling home

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Here, there and everywhere

The Beatles

The Beatles

Song: Here, There And Everywhere

Composer: Lennon and McCartney

Artist: The Beatles

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Bewitched, bothered and bewildered

Bewitched, bothered and bewildered

Songfacts: 

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)

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Trio of girls, in The Mikado, act 1 (1885)

Three little maids from school are we,
Pert as a school-girl well can be,
Filled to the brim with girlish glee,
Three little maids from school!
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William Shakespeare

William Shakespear

To me, fair friend, you never can be old,

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The Mikado

QUOTATION:

Three little maids from school are we,

Pert as a school-girl well can be,

Filled to the brim with girlish glee,

Three little maids from school!

Continue reading The Mikado