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April 10, 2007

Shakespeare knows what's up!

Shakespeare, King Lear Acts 1,2 -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

"Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave My heart into my mouth."

I have been reading Shakespeare since 8th grade. I'm not going to lie, I hated when Shakespeare time came around. As I get older though, and the language becomes a little easier, I appreciate his work more and more. I love this quote. It really shows Shakespeare's keen insight into human nature, which is such a large part of why his work has literally transcended time. It's universal and timeless.

I hate Regan and Goneril. How anyone can treat their father, who gave them all the power that he did, is beyond me. The whole first scene made me really mad! Cordelia obviously loves her father more than the other two. By her refusal to flatter her father and by saying she cant "heave her heart into her mouth," she shows how honest she is and really makes the audience sympathize with her, especially after Lear disowns her.

I think the relationship between Lear and his daughters and Gloucester and his children. They're very similar. They each have children who truly love them (but they can't see it or appreciate it) and children who are just bad and kniving. I've not read this play before but I'm really enjoying it.

Posted by CheraPupi at April 10, 2007 10:23 AM


Well, Lady Macbeth is a good example of a royal woman who was anything but nice and proper. But we do see an parallel plot being played out with male children, so I think Chera makes a good point when she brings gender into the equation.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at April 10, 2007 4:36 PM

Not only would the betrayl horrify the audience, but also the fact that these are women acting this way. Women (especially princess') were supposed to be prim, proper, and gentle. Not these girls!

Posted by: Chera Pupi at April 10, 2007 4:19 PM

I thought that this idea of a daughter betraying her father might have been even more horrendous to the people of that age compared to this one. At that time, respect of your elders, not to mention your parents, was pretty valuable. Also, there weren't any care programs for old people like now. When Lear gave away his fortune before his death was literally putting his life in their hands. To turn him out would have almost bee to condemn him to death, since he was too old to work in the fields.

Posted by: HallieGeary at April 10, 2007 1:59 PM

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