Monday, October 8, 2012

LEAR: Cordelia Focus


We see her always in relation to Lear.  As Goneril and Regan are part of him, so Cordelia is the other part.  She is tenderness, strength, pure redeeming ardour.  Her love is a clear and perpetual illumination.  She believes in the gods, turns to them.  She is proud as Lear is proud; stubborn as he is stubborn.  Like Kent who makes mistakes but, like his, they are mistakes in loyalty.  She is caught in a dilemma in the dilemma which compels her to choose -- a choice which must be imperfect.  She acts as daughter; she is organic in nature.

She has clarity of understanding and never loses it; she understands too well.  Like Kent, she reasons with her blood, an instinctive, intitive reason, immediate understanding.  Her road is unmistakeable, she never swerves.  She is adult; not blind, not stupid, not naive;  like Kent she is not fooled by Goneril and Reagan;  her practical intelligence interprets for her; her understanding is sound.

She embodies the nature which Edmund denies to exist; individual sanity with social sanity.  Individuality with the capacity for compassion, for love.  She stands for wholeness: head and heart are operative.

She reconciles opposites:
Passion  . . . .  . . . . .  . order
Innocence . . . . . . . . .  maturity
Defencelessness . . . . strength
Daughter . . . . . . . . . . .mother
Gentleness . . . . . . . . . toughness
Conflict of feeling  . .  . .balance of feeling
Confusion of feeling .  . discipline of feeling

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