King Lear: initial thoughts

So, it’s been a long time since I’ve read King Lear. Probably a quarter-century.

I just cringed at that. Man, I’m old.

But not as old as Lear…

I’ve seen the play a couple of times in the intervening years. And what I’ve always felt is… somehow let down by what’s on stage. But it’s understandable. There’s so much on the page. How could you possibly get it all on stage?

As I begin this new reading of the play, I’m wondering if I’ll feel the same way when our time together is done. If anything, from afar, I see even more angles that this play can provide. My wife’s grandmother suffered from Alzheimer’s before she passed. I’ve always seen a certain senility in Lear, but was it dementia?

In some ways, I’m really looking forward to this new play. I can’t wait to wade into it.

On the other hand, with my father’s passing, and my wife’s mother’s recent health problems, the whole parent-coming-to-the-end-of-their-time thing is tinged with a personal sadness that goes well beyond the genre of tragedy. And I want to hold that off at arm’s length.

Three months of this ambivalence should be … if nothing else, interesting.

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