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King Lear

The Lost Leader; Group Disintegration, Transformation and Suspended Reconsolidation

Dennis Brown

King Lear (1605–6) is the primary enactment of psychic breakdown in English literary history. It constitutes, also, the most spectacular instance of a controlled explosion of the formal ‘container’ in Western drama – such that it not only violated whatever Aristotle or Boileau might have to offer on the proper structure of tragedy but provoked, too, the very different sensibilities of Dr Johnson and Count Tolstoy. Set in its raw pre-Christian world, the play remains the major Shakespearean rebuttal of Sophoclean fearful symmetry (Oedipus Rex) – corrosive in its existential negativity, yet paradoxically fructive in spawning such twentieth-century ‘countertransferential’ progeny as George Bernard Shaw’s Heartbreak House, Samuel Beckett’s Endgame or Edward Bond’s Lear. Keats, on rereading it wrote about the ‘bitter-sweet’ of being ‘consumèd in the fire’, with all the intensity of one closely associated with ‘Consumption’.

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Roger Stritmatter and Lynne Kositsky

Gary Taylor's 1982 Review of English Studies article, 'A New Source and an Old Date for King Lear', highlights numerous semantic, thematic and structural parallels between Shakespeare's King Lear, customarily assigned a composition date in late 1605 or spring 1606, and Eastward Ho (first published September 1605). Deconstructing Taylor's methodology for determining the order of influence between the two plays, we argue that the authors of Eastward Ho found the bard's cosmic tragedy of royal intrigue and intergenerational strife an irresistible target for rambunctious topical satire. In place of a Lear that without motive incorporates vague patches of Eastward Ho influence, we read an Eastward Ho that enacts an acerbically brilliant parody of several Shakespeare plays, among them King Lear.

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‘Abd al-Raḥīm Kamāl’s Dahsha

An Upper Egyptian Lear

Noha Mohamad Mohamad Ibraheem

his cherished youngest. This is the plot of the 2014 Egyptian television series Dahsha (Perplexity), an adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear in Ṣaʿīdī (Upper Egyptian) dialect, written by ʿAbd al-Raḥīm Kamāl and directed by Shādī al-Fakharānī. 3

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Mehrdad Bidgoli

Ethically attuned readings of King Lear typically study, among other issues, Lear’s ethical revolution. More specifically, Shakespeare critics who have engaged with Levinasian treatments of this play often do not present a clear-cut account of Lear’s status with regard to the authentic encounter with the destitute yet commanding face of the Other, and the ineluctably intervening third party. Trying to unravel these complexities, I examine one of the possible reasons why ethical readers of King Lear equivocate when they study Lear and his ethical apotheosis. I will discuss Lear’s subjectivity and trace its gradual transition to a more heightened ethical awareness, but refuse to envision him as a perfect ethical character. Lear does improve significantly with regard to his relationship with the Other, but while he appears to temporarily touch a Levinasian standpoint, his subjectivity undergoes an apotheosis, eventuating in a deontological (perhaps pre-ontological) status which cannot reconcile itself with the presence of ‘the third party’. This, as I will discuss, is his ethical-political flaw which blocks a final recourse towards a probable reconciliation of the Other and the Third. Lear’s ethical awakening, I suggest, fails to reconcile with and restore justice.

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Teatrum Mundi

Teaching Shakespeare Performance to Israeli Medical Students

Rebecca Gillis

In 2014 Ben Hubbard reported for The New York Times on a production of King Lear put on in Arabic, by Syrian refugee children, in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. 1 The children reported that working on this play with their director

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Egypt between Two Shakespeare Quadricentennials 1964–2016

Reflective Remarks in Three Snapshots

Hazem Azmy

of King Lear . For an illustration of this statement one needs to go no futher than the example of the National Theatre’s blockbuster 2002 production of the play, which was directed by veteran director Ahmed Abdel Halim (1934–2013). Abdel Halim was

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Keith Jones

. The novel opens with an actor putting on King Lear – and dying from a heart attack in the middle of Act IV, Scene VI. That night, a devastating pandemic (the Georgia flu) arrives in America. It sweeps across America and around the world, killing

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Özlem Özmen

British Jewish playwright Julia Pascal has written two adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays, The Shylock Play (2009, based on The Merchant of Venice) and The Yiddish Queen Lear (1999, based on King Lear) , in which she discusses Jewish

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Richard H. Weisberg

association of interpretive corruptness with political corruptness carries with it religious overtones when, for example in Merchant , Christian distortions of the law win the day over Jewish pleas for just recognition of the law. 5 Similarly, King Lear

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Bringing Lebanon’s Civil War Home to Anglophone Literature

Alameddine’s Appropriation of Shakespeare’s Tragedies

Yousef Awad

article explores the ways in which, in these two novels, Alameddine draws attention to Shakespeare’s representation of traumatic events in Macbeth and King Lear and links it to his own depiction of his nation’s tragic domestic strife. I argue that