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King Lear, I.1

throne room in Lear’s palace

  • Kent
  • Gloucester
  • Edmund
  • Lear
  • Cornwall
  • Albany
  • Goneril
  • Regan
  • Cordelia
  • France
  • Burgundy

You know the drill: read and discuss.


  1. Dale wrote:

    The tags are meant to help us do a visual check of how often characters turn up, plus the L-plot and G-plot tags, for the Lear and Gloucester plots.

    Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Permalink
  2. Dale wrote:

    It is a truism by now, but I am struck at how conversationally the play opens. It’s a mirror of Lear’s comments at the end, when he tells Cordelia they’ll enjoy their imprisonment by talking “about court news…/Who loses and who wins, who’s in, who’s out…” We see Gloucester and Kent gossiping amiably about Cornwall and Albany’s chances in the coming division of the kingdom.

    The offhanded but affectionate treatment of Edmund by Gloucester, setting up the G-plot immediately.

    More about the Lear thing later.

    Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Permalink
  3. Dale wrote:

    11 main characters right here. We still have Edgar and the Fool to meet. That’s 13.

    Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Permalink
  4. Scott Stroud wrote:

    Deffinatley would like to take Edgar in the G-plot but I am also attracted to the fool in the L-plot..but as the play moves along we see that one can’t play fool and edgar..because there are a few scenes that have them both matching wits. either one would work..but if I had a prefrence Edgar over Fool.

    Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Permalink
  5. Scott Stroud wrote:

    And the Idea..of just wearing a loin clothe and smelling like dung appeals to me. 🙂

    Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Permalink
  6. Jeff Bishop wrote:

    I don’t have the script in front of me, but my favorite bit in the opening is when Kent crows about there being “much sport” in the making of his bastard son — while said son is standing right there listening! Classic. All the more tasty when one knows what’s coming.

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 11:06 am | Permalink
  7. turff wrote:

    We probably need to graph “between the exuents” so we can determine who’s actually co-habitating the stage. I wasn’t careful enough in my reading to see for certain, but doesn’t this play meander in and out of pentameter pretty frequently? I’m not just talking about when characters repeat verse either. It may just be the formatting of my copy, but it seems to happen quite a bit.

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Permalink
  8. dale wrote:

    Lots of shifting between verse and prose. It will take some exploration to decide what it means.

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 10:45 am | Permalink
  9. dale wrote:

    I did the graph on the flight out here (Seattle) and discovered something interesting: we start out with 13 major characters and up with 3–Kent, Edgar, Albany. Everyone else snuffs it.

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 10:48 am | Permalink