Why did it take me 30 years to appreciate Shakespeare’s Greatness!

It was 30 years ago that I read multiple works of Shakespeare as part of my university course, among them King Lear, which I thought was the most boring. I was only twenty years of age, but was it okay for a literature student to not appreciate a great work by one of the greatest literary figures ever!

And suddenly this morning it all clicked into place, the essence and truth of the theme of King Lear. IT IS AN AGELESS PLOT, but you can only comprehend it fully when you get to live it, in life!

This morning, at 4am,as I reread the scenes, I can’t stop my tears from streaming down , for in this now, the scenes unfold with such clarity and meaning it hurts me real painful.

The story briefly:

The story opens in ancient Britain, where the elderly King Lear decides to give up his power and divide his realm amongst his three daughters, Cordelia, Regan, and Goneril, intending to give the largest piece of his kingdom to the child who professes to love him the most, certain that his favorite daughter, Cordelia, will win the challenge. Goneril and Regan, corrupt and deceitful, lie to their father with sappy and excessive declarations of affection. Cordelia, however, refuses to engage in Lear’s game, and replies simply that she loves him as a daughter should.

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KING LEAR: Now, our joy,

Although the last, not least; to whose young love

The vines of France and milk of Burgundy

Strive to be interess’d; what can you say to draw

A third more opulent than your sisters? Speak.

CORDELIA                Nothing, my lord.

KING LEAR               Nothing!

CORDELIA                Nothing.

KING LEAR               Nothing will come of nothing: speak again.

CORDELIA                Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave

My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty

According to my bond; nor more nor less.

KING LEAR               How, how, Cordelia! Mend your speech a little,

Lest it may mar your fortunes.

CORDELIA                Good my lord,

You have begot me, bred me, loved me: I

Return those duties back as are right fit,

Obey you, love you, and most honour you.

 

KING LEAR               But goes thy heart with this?

CORDELIA                Ay, good my lord.

KING LEAR               So young, and so untender?

CORDELIA                So young, my lord, and true.

Her lackluster retort, despite its sincerity, enrages Lear, and he disowns Cordelia completely.
Meanwhile, the King of France, present at court and overwhelmed by Cordelia’s honesty, asks for her hand in marriage, despite her loss of a sizable dowry. Cordelia accepts the King of France’s proposal, and reluctantly leaves Lear with her two cunning sisters. Now that Lear has turned over all his wealth and land to Regan and Goneril, their true natures surface. Lear goes to live with Goneril, but she reveals that she plans to treat him like the old man he is while he is under her roof. So Lear decides to stay instead with his other daughter, but soon realizes that Regan is conspiring with her sister against him.

News arrives that Cordelia has raised an army of French troops that have landed.

Tired from his ordeal, Lear sleeps through the battle between Cordelia and her sisters. When Lear awakes he is told that Cordelia has been defeated. Lear takes the news well, thinking that he will be jailed with his beloved Cordelia – away from his evil offspring. However, the orders have come, not for Cordelia’s imprisonment, but for her death.

Despite their victory, the evil natures of Goneril and Regan soon destroy them. Both in love with Edmund (who gave the order for Cordelia to be executed), Goneril poisons Regan. But when Goneril discovers that Edmund has been fatally wounded,  Goneril kills herself as well.

As Edmund takes his last breath he repents and the order to execute Cordelia is reversed. But the reversal comes too late and Cordelia is hanged. Lear appears, carrying the body of Cordelia in his arms.

imagesKING LEAR: “Howl, howl, howl, howl! O, you are men of stones:

Had I your tongues and eyes, I’ld use them so

That heaven’s vault should crack. She’s gone for ever!

Mad with grief, Lear bends over Cordelia’s body, looking for a sign of life. The strain overcomes Lear and he falls dead on top of his daughter.

 

Proud mom

Yes, I am a proud mom. ImageMy son made his debut on the professional stage last week in Mumbai with ‘One Coin Please’. Sure, he had wanted to be an actor for a while now. Advaaith has been training for the acting career for the past five years. And as far as I can see, and as far as his mentors’ say, he will be ready for the big screen in a couple of years. But this entry into the theatre world was unexpected. 1960857_820839307931137_939024920_o He did well. More than that, he enjoyed the theatre experience. It is only the beginning of a long promising career, I know. Never mind the many setbacks an actor is bound to come across. I know, in the end, anyone with great talent and a stubborn determination has to succeed. Both being on his side, I wish him the best for his actor life. 1932738_821424477872620_705067743_o 1900744_820835197931548_993856414_o

ONLY A MOTHER CAN SEE

My son, who is grooming to be an actor, surprised me a few days back, without intending to.

He posted an AMATEUR webcam video on his Facebook wall, review of a play his theater group performed a few days back. It was his first attempt, and it was a royal mess, poor picture quality, pathetic audio and endless repetitions, RAW cut.

Only when I tried to edit it, so as to make some sense of it did I spot those beautiful, fleeting, multitude of expressions on his innocent face. In a matter of 10 minutes, he had emptied a whole world of subtle emotions, mixing intensity with loudness. I was stunned, delighted and confident.

I do not know if other will see it. But I DEFINITELY CAN SEE IT.

http://youtu.be/UQnSTfHKBIo

My son HAS IT, what takes to be a GREAT ACTOR. And he is surely going to take his place in the world stage, we will boldly face and demolish any obstacle that may chance appear on our path from time to time.

I always knew he was a terrific entertainer, once on stage, he was an ITEM beyond compare. But now I am convinced he is graduating into a terrific  actor, FINISHING touches pending.

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Thank you ALMIGHTY, I know YOU ARE THERE, keeping us safe and on track.