King Lear & Cordelia

How can we understand Cordelia’s confrontation with her father King Lear? In the Edwin Sherin directed version with James Earl Jones as Lear,  staged in Central Park New York, King Lear’s violence seems to provoke a response in Cordelia which is a mirror of her father. Like father like daughter? Is there any grace in this Cordelia, or is she indeed “proud”?

Jones Lee Cord

In the version produced by Tony Davenall for Thames Television with Patrick Magee as Lear, there is a less reactive Cordelia, one who seems to harbour her strength in the face of a father who does seem on the edge of senility.

Magee Lear Cord

Blog topics for Week 7:

1/ What do you see as the salient differences between these two representations of the father / daughter conflict and which is more dramatically effectivce?

2/ Is there any other aspect of the language of Act 1 Sc 1 that really touched your imagination and that you would like to briefly discuss.

3/ Write a letter to Cordelia in support of the radical action she has taken.

White Board Summary of our Discussion: 


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