A new story from Lend Me Your Ears


Response he becomes fixated on femininity he isn't just angry at his daughter's for betraying him he's obsessed with women in general you might not be surprised to find out that he's not a fan of them when gone role i demands he dismissed have his nights lear curses her womb with sterility a few lines later he says outright that his rage is provoked by her threats to his masculinity i shamed that thou has power to shake my men hoed us that these hot tears which break from me per force should make the worth of them later still he calls tears women's weapons water drops and his misogyny escalates throughout the play even after he learns to care about the poor late in the play in one of shakespeare's most graphic passages lear says that all women are centaurs their upper halves look human but the nieces all the fiends there's hell there's darkness there's the sulphurous pitch burning skull ding stench consumption lear is the ultimate patriarch he begins the play as powerful as a straight white man could possibly be yet he experiences even small losses of power in ways that feel very familiar today giving up any amount of authority feels to him like a great loss and he speaks of having to renegotiate boundaries with women as if he is the victim of oppression ravin them and as we've seen the play also finds something perverse and worrisome about women holding power sometimes lear rance about women it's unclear whether we're seeing his misogyny or the plays but the play also shows leers hostility towards women as a component of his madness and invites the audience to find fault with him that invitation to publicly come together and express an opinion about a king it might not seem strange to us today but in shakespeare's time the theater was one of the few places that it could happen it is a kind of proto public sphere where people come together as a public and exert judgments you know you you judge king's you make judgments about king lear and richard the second that you never could make in any other context you couldn't write an oped in the newspaper and you couldn't start a political movement you'd think all those chicks burien plays about kings and kings who get killed the definition of treason that set judicially by law from thirty one is to imagine or compass the death of king but what do all those plays do but imagine the death of a king and invite a populace to participate in that imagining power could be redistributed but only in the imagination when power is redistribute rooted in lear the people it's given to behave more and more monstrously as they get more powerful at the beginning of the play regan and ghana royal actually seem quite reasonable if your elderly erratic father insisted on bringing his private army with him when he came to live with you well you might try to find an underhand away to get rid of them too but as the play goes on they begin enjoying their power too much an acting masculine the order people around they commit acts of violence they go to war often this is interpreted as a sign that they were wicked all along but we're would regan gone role have learned to behave this way with power they're only model as their father lear finds a way out of this trap when he finally experiences total powerlessness that solution redistributing wealth and power is the fundamental project of democracy shaking the super flux to the needy benefits them but also as lear says shows the heavens more just it's how we use power to bring moral order to the universe because the concentration of power and wealth aren't just destructive to the wretches of the world their destructive to all of us even the most powerful among us ultimately king lear shows us what happens when people become accustomed to power and privilege it shows us the ways they insist on maintaining their thority even when it no longer has any basis how they act against their own self interest because otherwise they'd have to obey the very people they used to rule and how they respond to the loss of power with rage preferring to destroy everything around them rather than allow anyone else to have it before we get to our special thanks i'd just like to remind you that all be appearing as part of hudson valley shakespeare festival's coronation day festival

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