Notes on theater, politics, and anything else that enters my semi-fevered brain.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Second Night: Recap
My apologies for the tardiness of this update. Not much to report on the second night. We finished reading the play and it didn't strike me as long as I remembered. Lear's long-winded-ness doesn't kick in until Act 4 or so, and my wanderings on the heath are as interesting than the King's. I haven't reviewed the text to bear this out, but I'm not sure what happens to Gloucester. Edgar leaves him under a tree and then takes him away to safety somewhere else. It's hard to imagine what safety he could offer Gloucester while the army of France is being routed by the English forces.
Two thoughts scribbled in my notes from the second night:
"Edg can take care of himself?"
"Edm needed protection... but at a distance"
There's the rub, I think. Despite all his pretences to the contrary, I believe that Gloucester treats his sons very differently, and the mistakes he made with Edmund go back for years. Edgar was always the capable one, or so Gloucester thought. Edmund was the "son" that needed looking after. What if the reverse is true? It's quite clear that Edmund knows how to handle himself both with word and with sword. Edgar is completely taken in by his brother's ruse. How capable is he, really?
"You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting,
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine."
-- from "Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver