Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Illustrated Shakespeare. Yeah, I'll go there.

......................Ford Madox Brown. Cordelia's Portion, 1866.

I've never been that huge a fan of Shakespeare's King Lear, but recently I have begun to see it in a different light, and am beginning to understand it a little bit better. It is a very intricate and complicated play, which I've never had much patience for. Until now.

Anyway, I won't go into too much detail. Most of you guys are familiar with at least the overall theme of the play, if not its complicated and intricate storyline. To tell the truth, I'm still grappling with some of the intricacies of it myself. I won't venture to lecture anyone on it. Go to Sparknotes for a breakdown, I've found it helpful.

The illustration above is from Act I, scene i., where the action of the play begins, and the overall theme is introduced. In it, flattery and lies are mistaken for love and loyalty, and honesty and truth is mistaken for disloyalty and enmity. Tragic, but without it, there wouldn't be a play.

It's like in a horror movie when the heroine goes down to the basement (or into the cemetery) at night, with nothing but a candle or flashlight, to investigate that odd noise. You're going "NO, don't do that, you IDIOT," but does she listen? Answer: No. And it's a good thing she doesn't, otherwise there isn't the rest of the movie, and you don't get to see her get her head chopped off, or realize TOO BLOODY LATE that she can't take that decision back.

The difference is that Cordelia is right. And the woman in the horror flick is an eedjit. But the end result is pretty much the same.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Andraste - interesting name! from where does it originate? Mine is Irish for Margaret.
I saw your comment over at Kav's blog. Sorry for the funny codes - it's actually the Irish language. Alot of people don't realize that we have our own language in Ireland. If you were being ironic, then I'm a right eejit and I apologize!!!!

15 November, 2006 19:35  
Blogger Kim Ayres said...

Never did get the hang of Shakespeare. Put off by English lessons in School and Mel Gibson as Hamlet

15 November, 2006 20:00  
Blogger Andraste said...

Kim - well, Mr. Gibson is enough to put one off of anything. He's a twat of the highest order.

WElcome Mairead! That Kav, he's a rum one, eh? No need to apologize, at all. I was trying to be funny with that 'code' thing and it wasn't! Andraste is actually a pseudonym - I can get a bit violent and raunchy, and definitely don't want to get fired for working a bit blue on my blog. So....

15 November, 2006 20:09  
Blogger Kieran said...

Nope, it's still a terrible play. Dirty Dancing The Musical, now that's theatre.

16 November, 2006 12:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand about the job protection thing. I'll have to start an alter ego blog once I get the hang of it all. For the time being, I'm trying to be pink instead of blue - not easy!

16 November, 2006 15:06  

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