Archive | January, 2012

Sub Plot of King Lear Echoes Jacob-Esau

26 Jan

Shakespeare adapted the subplot of King Lear from a section in Sir Philip Sydney’s Arcadia. The blinded king of the Paphalogonians (north central Asia Minor) grieves his metaphorical blindness in trusting his bastard son, Plexirtus rather than his good son, Leonatus who stands by him until he is relieved. Shakespeare greatly expands and deepens the resonance of his source in the family of Lear’s senior advisor the Earl of Gloucester and his two sons, Edgar a legitimate and slightly elder son and Edmund, the bastard who is ‘some ten or twelve moonshines lag of a brother” as he puts it (1.2), that is, ten or 12 months younger than Edgar. Continue reading