Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Monday, February 21, 2011

Queen Lear

Went to the UKNT-on-film production of King Lear, and disliked it; because

1) as usual, it was all said too fast, with in consequence no possibility of the verse being taken as what anybody could contemporaneously be thinking - no pause for thought, no pause before responding; and yes, I appreciate that verse is in its nature artificial, but there is a gray area where it is also supposed to be capable of being apprehended as natural...

2) OK, it's a fault, I am incapable of being entirely snatched away from the world of naive realism, and I keep being sidelined by trying to think up subplots or prequels that would make the actual plot make a lick of sense.

The opening scene... it's not that an old king would not want to divide up his kingdom among his daughters, or that he would be pissed off when one of them has reservations, it's that Lear couldn't conceivably have been surprised by Cordelia's response unless he was meeting her for the first time. That kind of irritating literalism isn't a one-off, it's a character trait, and the natural response is not shock at what she's doing but rather the iambic pentameter equivalent of "Dammit, Cordelia, you're doing it again! Why do you always have to ruin everything?"

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