King Lear revision 2: ‘All’s cheerless, dark and deadly’

April 29th, 2010

Our 19th podcast is the second in a series of revision talks on King Lear, prior to the Leaving Certificate in early June. The first one examined Act I scene i. This second podcast looks at the extreme bleakness of Shakespeare's vision in the play, especially through its treatment of religion and the gods. The gods are often invoked in King Lear, and on the surface in it ancient Britain seems to be a highly religious society. But in fact there is no stage at which heaven seems to be active or effective. The play disabuses its audience of the notion that there is any benevolent power above which will protect us from ourselves.

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King Lear revision 1: the opening scene

April 22nd, 2010

Our 18th podcast is the first in a series of weekly revision talks on Shakespeare's King Lear, leading up to the Leaving Certificate in early June. Like last year's Macbeth revision podcasts, these are designed to freshen up thinking. Each lasts about 10-15 minutes.

The first King Lear talk examines the explosive and crucial opening scene, during which the King sets in train the disastrous train of events which leads to personal and public catastrophe.

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