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INSIGHTS: "Do you see this? Look on her, look, her lips, Look there, look there!"

September 27, 2014  ·  Bruce Montgomery Theatre

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Join us before the King Lear matinee performance on September 27 for a discussion led by Phyllis Rackin, Professor of English Emerita.

"Do you see this? Look on her, look, her lips, Look there, look there!" These are the last words Lear speaks, and they have never received a definitive interpretation. What does Lear see, or think he sees? Since there is no stage direction, Shakespeare's intention remains obscure. Is Cordelia dead, or does Lear somehow see that her soul still lives? Critical and directorial interpretations range from a mystical vision of divine grace to a horrified realization of unmitigated chaos. This discussion will review some of the evidence the play offers for understanding Lear's last words and, with them, the larger issues raised by the play as a whole.

Phyllis Rackin, a former President of the Shakespeare Association of America, has taught Shakespeare for over 40 years at the University of Pennsylvania, where she received a Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. She has written 5 books and numerous articles on Shakespeare and related subjects.

This event is free for King Lear ticket holders.
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