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Shakespeare’s King Lear, Conference II, Part 2

Dr. White uses Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s book The Gulag Archipelago to illustrate his points on King Lear, particularly in Lear’s speech calling to “allow not nature more than nature needs,” where he discusses how very little one technically needs in order to survive. The whole celebrated sequence where Lear is out in the storm is carefully examined. Lear’s fast-changing moods are noted as he goes from towering rage and futile commands to the sky to self-pity to cries for patience to bear his sufferings. Dr. White then speaks of the significance of Edgar’s progression of disguises, Edmund’s piteous desire for love, and finally, how Lear and the other sufferers in the play were actually blessed by their suffering.

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