“Full circle” – King Lear
Full circle is a phrase spoken by Edmund in King Lear, Act 5, Scene 3. The Elizabethan use of the word ‘full’ in this context is to mean complete. In Edmund’s case, he means to say that his actions have completed their circuit and, as fate would have it, they have come around to him.
The current use of the phrase is not much different. We usually use the phrase to mean that an action or set of actions have gone through a cycle and returned to the starting point. The main difference between the Elizabethan context and our current context is that we don’t necessarily attribute the inevitable outcome to fate.
This Wordy Wednesday post is brought to you by Tiffany Chan.