Stick Figure Iconography: King Lear

It's everyone's favorite mad monarch in today's installment of Shakespearen Stick Figure Iconographies! 

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Lear only wears his flower crown for one scene, but it's a doozy of a scene and the image of Lear with his flower crown, cradling the blinded Gloucester, is pretty much THE image from King Lear, rivaled only by Lear yelling at the storm. 

Shakespeare's Missing Mothers, part 2

Following up on last Thursday's comic highlighting some of the many mothers missing from Shakespeare's plays, here are some more missing mothers, rightfully restored to their places.

A few thoughts:

  1. From a dramatic standpoint, there's definitely a reason why Shakespeare left these mothers out in favor of mothers like Volumnia and Margaret of Anjou...
  2. King Lear really suffers from a lack of mothers. Mothers would have sorted that whole play out before you even got to the second scene. 
  3. I kind of want to do a series of comics now on how Mrs. Polonius manages to diffuse the entire situation at Elsinore and everyone ends up over at her place talking through their feelings over cups of hot tea and some scones. 

 

Shakespeare's Missing Mothers, part 1

The number of Shakespearean characters who have a father but are, for some usually unspoken reason, missing a mother is often commented on. This isn't to say that there aren't any mothers in Shakespeare.... there are just a lot of missing ones. Let's see what happens when we put some of them back. 

Queen Lear would have SHUT THAT THING DOWN. 

No Fooling

It is a truth universally acknowledged that there is nothing more daunting than playing one of Shakespeare's clowns. 

Shakespeare's insight into the human condition might have aged well over the past 400 years, but a lot of his jokes haven't... at least those told by designated fools. A general rule of thumb is that the more times you have to look up a footnote for a joke, the more likely it is you will want to punch the character telling it. I'm always immensely impressed when actors are able to make Shakespeare's fools vibrant and amusing in performance.

Also, King Lear's Fool is totally the Fool from Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters, and nothing will every change that for me.

Campaign Quotes, part 1

As you just might have heard, the U.S. presidential campaign is well underway now. I thought it might be useful to start collecting some of the most appropriate Shakespearean quotes related to politics.

I love the phrase "scurvy politician".

Disillusioned with the current crop of candidates? Support the Players' Party and pick up some Shakespeare/Burbage gear at the Good Tickle Shoppe! </end shameless plug>

Shakespearean Christmas Carols, part 2

Tomorrow is Christmas! And you know what that means... MORE SHAKESPEAREAN CHRISTMAS CAROLS!

Seriously, Cordelia... you better watch out...

I love The Holly and the Ivy, but it doesn't seem to be as popular as it used to be. It's so relentlessly up-tempo and goes on and on and on and on and on...

If you're in the mood for more Shakespearean Christmas Carols, check out my first installment and be sure to read the reader-submitted ones in the comments, including two different takes on Carol of the Bells and another jab at King Lear.

Happy holidays to all of you! I will be taking next week off, but will see you back here in 2016. It's been a busy and exciting year for me, and I am so very thankful to all of you for reading and supporting my work. I am looking forward to another year of sharing Shakespearean silliness with you!