King Lear

Shakespeare Everywhere- Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa is one of the most influential filmmakers in not only his home country of Japan, but the entire world. With a career that spanned nearly 60 years, Kurosawa received accolades from around the globe, including a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award!


Akira Kurosawa, pictured with George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, after he accepts his Lifetime Achievement Academy Award in 1990.

Known for being a completely hands-on director, Kurosawa was involved in the writing, directing, and editing of all of his films. Shakespeare was a continued source of inspiration for him, as he released three films between 1957 and 1985 that were inspired by the Bard’s works.

Throne of Blood (1957) was inspired by Macbeth.

The Bad Sleep Well
(1960) was inspired by Hamlet.

Ran (1985) was inspired by King Lear.

Kurosawa managed to create fresh and original adaptations of Shakespeare’s works, while still staying true to the original themes and stories of the plays he drew inspiration from. Do you agree? Why or why not? Leave us a comment!

LEAR, March 5-10 @ Harbourfront Centre World Stage 2013

Clare Coulter March 5-10 @ Harbourfront CentrePhoto: Guntar Cravis

Clare Coulter
March 5-10 @ Harbourfront Centre World Stage 2013
Photo: Guntar Cravis


“Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Strike flat the thick rotundity o’ th’ world…”

~ King Lear, III.ii ~


The world premiere of Philip McKee’s LEAR hits the Harbourfront Centre’s Studio Theatre tomorrow, as part of World Stage 2013:

Canadian performance legend Clare Coulter steps into the title role of Shakespeare’s King Lear in this reinvigorated and sensitive overturning of a timeless tragedy. The World Stage presentation of LEAR was developed from a performance that appeared at Harbourfront Centre in 2011 as part of the HATCH performing arts residency program.

There are limited tickets remaining.  For tickets, click here.



She She Pop & Their Fathers: TestamentApril 17-20 @ Harbourfront Centre World Stage 2013Photo: She She Pop

She She Pop & Their Fathers: Testament
April 17-20 @ Harbourfront Centre World Stage 2013
Photo: She She Pop


If that isn’t enough Lear for you, She She Pop & Their Fathers: Testament takes to the Harbourfront Centre stage this spring, April 17-20.

Mirroring the story of King Lear and his daughters, She She Pop members take to the stage with their own aging fathers to enumerate their inheritances and negotiate how power, money, memory and love are passed along across the generations.  With the drive of a game show, this heart-wrenching and humorous work strives to find the intersections of responsibility and respect between parents and children.

The show is in German with English surtitles.

The opening night reception (Wednesday, April 17th) and talkshow (Thursday, April 18th) are free with the purchase of a ticket.

For tickets, click here.

What if Shakespeare…had the world’s worst CAT?

I cannot choose: sometime he angers me /With telling me of the mouldwarp and the ant, /Of the dreamer Merlin and his prophecies, /And of a dragon and a finless fish, /A clip-wing’d griffin and a moulten raven, /A couching lion and a ramping cat. [1] Some, that are mad if they behold a cat; /And others, when the bagpipe sings i’ the nose, /Cannot contain their urine. [2] I could endure any thing before but a cat, and now he’s a cat to me. [3] civet is of a baser birth than tar. [4] You fur your gloves with reason. [5]

Purr! the cat is gray. [6] Like the poor cat i’ the adage. [7] Since we have locks to safeguard necessaries, /And pretty traps to catch the petty thieves. [8] If the cat will after kind [9], pray you, sir, use the carp as you may. [10]

The cat, with eyne of burning coal, /Now crouches fore the mouse’s hole; [11] Yet, foul night-waking cat, he doth but dally. [12] Come on your ways; open your mouth; here is that which will give language to you, cat: open your mouth. [13] The cat will mew, and dog will have his day. [14]

A pox on him, he’s a cat still. [15] Hang off, thou cat, thou burr! vile thing, let loose, /Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent! [16] Zounds … a cat, to scratch a man to death! […] Why the devil came you between us? I was hurt under your arm. [17]

Shakespeare re-arranged by Zhan Zhang.


1) Henry IV, Part I [III. 1.1693-1698]

2) Merchant of Venice [IV. 1. 1980]

3) All’s Well That Ends Well [IV. 3. 2320]

4) As You Like It [III. 2. 1180]

5) Troilus and Cressida [II. 2. 1028]

6) King Lear [III. 6. 2049]

7) Macbeth [I. 7. 522]

8) Henry V [I. 2. 321]

9) As You Like It [III. 2. 1213]

10) All’s Well That Ends Well [V. 2. 2636]

11) Pericles [III. 0. 1123]

12) Rape of Lucrece 605

13) Tempest [II. 2. 1171]

14) Hamlet [V, 1.3638]

15) All’s Well That Ends Well [IV. 3. 2357]

16) Midsummer Night’s Dream [III. 2.1303]

17) Romeo and Juliet [III. 1. 1605-1609]

What if Shakespeare…were a WEATHER FORECASTER? (January Edition)

For Toronto, Ontario, Canada – January 7-13th

MONDAY:  Hideous winter… / Sap checked with frost and lusty leaves quite gone / Beauty o’ersnow’d and bareness every where (1). When clouds appear, wise men put on their cloaks (2).  High 0.

TUESDAY:  The blushing discontented sun / …perceives the envious clouds are bent / To dim his glory (3).  The more fair and crystal is the sky / The uglier seem the clouds that in it fly (4).  High 2.

WEDNESDAY:  Adding to clouds more clouds (5).  The winds grow high (6), the winds and persecutions of the sky (7).  High 5.

THURSDAY:   The sun breaks through the darkest clouds (8). To the brightest beams / Distracted clouds give way; so stand thou forth / The time is fair again! (9)  High 5.

FRIDAY:  A hot January (10) – This goodly summer with your winter mix’d (11).  The childing autumn, angry winter, change / Their wonted liveries (12). High 9.

THE WEEKEND – SATURDAY, SUNDAY:  Our day is gone; / Clouds, dews, and dangers come (13), cloud of winter showers (14), winter’s drizzled snow (15).  High 4 and 2.

1)  Sonnet 5

2)  Richard III, 2.3

3)  Richard II, 3.3

4)  Richard II, 1.1

5)  Romeo & Juliet, 1.1

6)  Henry VI, Part II; 2.1

7)  King Lear, 2.3

8)  Taming of the Shrew, 4.3

9)  All’s Well That Ends Well, 5.3

10)  Much Ado About Nothing, 1.1

11)  Titus Andronicus, 5.2

12)  A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2.1

13)  Julius Caesar, 5.3

14)  Timon of Athens, 2.2

15)  Comedy of Errors, 5.1

Shakespeare re-arranged by Laboni

What if Shakespeare…were a FRAUD?


[The Tudors’ secret police court, the Star Chamber. Enter JUDGE, PROSECUTOR, and QUEEN ELiZABETH I; SHAKESPEARE sits in chains in the centre of the room.]

Either you must
Confess yourselves wondrous malicious,
Or be accused of folly. (1)

An’t shall please your majesty, I never said nor
thought any such matter: God is my witness, I am
falsely accused by the villain. (2)

Ah, what’s more dangerous than this fond affiance!
Seems he a dove? his feathers are but borrowed,
For he’s disposed as the hateful raven:
Is he a lamb? his skin is surely lent him,
For he’s inclined as is the ravenous wolf.
Who cannot steal a shape that means deceit?
Take heed, my lord; the welfare of us all
Hangs on the cutting short that fraudful man. (3)

Madam, I was thinking with what manners I might
safely be admitted. (4)

I will not excuse you; you shall not be excus’d;
shall not be admitted; there is no excuse shall serve; you
not be excus’d. (5)

Then, I confess,
Here on my knee, before high heaven and you, (6)
I am alone the villain of the earth,
And feel I am so most. (7)
Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever, (8)
The fraud of England, not the force of France,
Hath now entrapp’d the noble-minded[.] (9)
Shame hath a bastard fame, well managed;
Ill deeds are doubled with an evil word. (10)
It shall be fickle, false and full of fraud, (11)
Not to relent is beastly, savage, devilish. (12)
Thus do I ever make my fool my purse: (13)
And that the Earl of Surrey, with the rod. (14)
I told him what I thought, and told no more
Than what he found himself was apt and true. (15)

He said the truth: and what said Surrey then? (16)

To tell you true, I counterfeit him. (17)

Thou liest:
Within these forty hours Surrey durst better
Have burnt that tongue than said so. (18)

I am as true as truth’s simplicity
And simpler than the infancy of truth. (19)
The base
Shall top th’ legitimate. I grow; I prosper.
Now, gods, stand up for bastards! (20)

Will Fortune never come with both hands full,
But write her fair words still in foulest letters? (21)
Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough
To mask thy monstrous visage? (22)

Demand me nothing: what you know, you know:
From this time forth I never will speak word. (23)

What, will you tear
Impatient answers from my gentle tongue?
Fie, fie! you counterfeit, you puppet, you! (24)

Tut, I have done a thousand dreadful things
As willingly as one would kill a fly,
And nothing grieves me heartily indeed
But that I cannot do ten thousand more. (25)

Lo, here, the hopeless merchant of this loss,
With head declined, and voice damm’d up with woe, (26)
And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,
That suck’d the honey of his music vows,
Now see that noble and most sovereign reason,
Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh; (27)
Foul devil, for God’s sake, hence, and trouble us not;
For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell; (28)
Take hence this jack, and whip him. (29)
Thou basest thing, avoid! hence, from my sight!
If after this command thou fraught the court
With thy unworthiness, thou diest: away!
Thou’rt poison to my blood. (30)

All my merry jigs are quite forgot,
All my lady’s love is lost, God wot:
Where her faith was firmly fix’d in love,
There a nay is placed without remove. (31)

The rest is silence. (32)


All words Shakespeare’s own, assembled by David Windrim.

Original Quotations:
(1) Menenius Agrippa, Coriolanus
(2) Thomas Horner, Henry VI Part 3
(3) Queen Margaret, Henry VI Part 3
(4) Lafeu, All’s Well That Ends Well
(5) Robert Shallow, Henry IV Part 2
(6) Domitius Enobarus, Antony and Cleopatra
(7) Helena, All’s Well That Ends Well
(8) Balthasar, Much Ado About Nothing
(9) Sir William Lucy, Henry VI, Part 1
(10) Luciana, The Comedy of Errors
(11) Venus and Adonis
(12) Duke of Clarence, Richard III
(13) Iago, Othello
(14) First Gentleman, Henry VIII
(15) Iago, Othello
(16) Richard III, Richard III
(17) Antonio, The Merchant Of Venice
(18) Cardinal Wolsey, Henry VIII
(19) Troilus, Troilus and Cressida
(20) Edmund, King Lear
(21) Henry IV, Henry IV Part 2
(22) Brutus, Julius Caesar
(23) Iago, Othello
(24) Helena, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
(25) Aaron, Titus Andronicus
(26) The Rape of Lucrece
(27) Ophelia, Hamlet
(28) Lady Anne, Richard III
(29) Antony, Antony and Cleopatra.
(30) Cymbeline, Cymbeline
(31) The Passionate Pilgrim

(32) Hamlet, Hamlet

What if Shakespeare… ran a HALLOWEEN SHOP?

Something wicked this way comes…


“Come hither, come, come, come!” [1] “Be truly welcome hither” [2]. “Come, go in: / I’ll show thee some attires” [3]. “What is it you will see?” [4] “Be what thou wilt” [5]. “A Persian Prince” [6] “say you sir?” [7] “I like that well” [8].

“This new and gorgeous garment” [9] “fits the purpose passing well” [10]. “Quick, quick! we’ll come dress you straight: put / On the gown the while” [11].  “I do not like the fashion of your garments. / You’ll say they are Persian attire; but / Let them be chang’d” [12].

“Wouldst thou be” [13] “a gallant knight” [14], “attired like a warrior?” [15] “I’ll give thee, friend, / An armour all of gold” [16]. “It well befits you” [17]. “How like you this?” [18] “Pray you, look not sad” [19], “thou shalt have my best gown” [20].

(to attendant) “Come hither, sirrah” [21], “go fetch / My best attires” [22].

“Well, what would you say” [23] “the queen of all the fairies, / Finely attired in a robe of white” [24]. “I pray you, bear with me” [25]. “Fully satisfied” [26] “will I see thee by and by” [27].

(Aside) “Alack, alack, alack!” [28] “What should I do with him?” [29]

(to attendant) “Sirrah, a word with you” [30]. “Let’s go dress him / Like the witch of Brentford” [31].

“Good sir, draw near to me” [32]. “Behold and see” [33] “a wretched creature” [34], “spotted, detested and abominable” [35]. “So wither’d and so wild in their attire / That look not like the inhabitants o’ the earth” [36]. “What say you?” [37] “Is this the guise?” [38]

“Ay, those attires are best” [39]. “I shall give thee” [40] “a bloody mask” [41] “with great ragg’d horns” [42]. “Pray you, come near” [43], “I’ll tell you true” [44], “I am afraid, sir” [45], “to look upon the hideous” [46], “monstrous form” [47] “I see before me” [48].  “I pray thee, mark me” [49] – “with you in this garb” [50] “thou art assured” [51] “to fright the world” [52]. “And yet, I know thou wilt” [53] “win the prize” [54], “for thou look’st” [55] “second to none” [56].

Shakespeare re-arranged by Linda Nicoll

1. Anthony and Cleopatra [V. ii. 3441]
2. As You Like It [II. vii. 1096]
3. Much Ado About Nothing [III. i. 1179-80]
4. Hamlet [V. ii. 4027]
5. Henry VI. P I [V. iii. 2503]
6. The Merchant of Venice [II. i. 540
7. Cymbeline [IV. ii. 2794]
8. Pericles [II. v. 32]
9. Henry IV. P II [V. ii. 3292]
10. Titus Andronicus [II. iii. 819]
11. Merry Wives of Windsor [IV. ii. 2040-41]
12. King Lear [III. vi. 80-82]
13. Anthony and Cleopatra [IV. xiv. 3067]
14. Henry IV. P I [V. iii. 2901]
15. Cymbeline [V. iv. 3168]
16. Anthony and Cleopatra [IV. viii. 2816-17]
17. Henry IV. P II [III. ii. 1934]
18. As You Like It [III. ii. 1133]
19. Anthony and Cleopatra [III. ii. 2128]
20. Pericles [II. i. 741]
21. Measure for Measure [IV. ii. 1886]
22. Anthony and Cleopatra [V. ii. 3673-74]
23. All’s Well That End Well [II. v. 1348]
24. Merry Wives of Windsor [IV. iv. 2269-70]
25. As You Like It [II. iv. 729-30]
26. Henry VIII [II. iv. 1518]
27. Henry IV. P I [V. iv. 3073]
28. A Midsummer Night’s Dream [V. i. 2015]
29. Much Ado About Nothing [II. i. 426]
30. Macbeth [III. i. 1051]
31. Merry Wives of Windsor [IV. ii. 2055-56]
32. Comedy of Errors [V. i. 1436]
33. Anthony and Cleopatra [I. i. 16]
34. Julius Caesar [I. ii. 207]
35. Titus Andronicus [II. iii. 810]
36. Macbeth [I. iii. 140-41]
37. Pericles [II. i. 595]
38. Henry VI. P II [I. iii. 433]
39. Romeo and Juliet [IV. iii. 2549]
40. Anthony and Cleopatra [IV. xii. 2940]
41. Henry IV. P I [III. ii. 1960]
42. Merry Wives of Windsor [IV. iv. 2226]
43. Merry Wives of Windsor [III. iii. 1524]
44. Timon of Athens [I. ii. 582]
45. Taming of the Shrew [V. ii. 2589]
46. Henry IV. P II [II. iii. 1189]
47. Henry IV. P II [IV. ii. 2476]
48. Macbeth [II. i. 611]
49. The Tempest [I. ii. 189]
50. Hamlet [II. ii. 1456]
51. Sonnet 92 [2]
52. Henry VI. P II [III. ii. 1731]
53. Cymbeline [V. v. 3488]
54. Taming of the Shrew [II. i. 1195]
55. Pericles [V. i. 2323]
56. Comedy of Errors [V. i. 1430]

Shakespeare image:
Halloween image:

Wordy Wednesday – “That way madness lies”

In Act III.iv of King Lear, Lear, Kent, and the Fool find themselves on a heath before a hovel.  It is stormy.  Kent urges Lear to enter the derelict little dwelling, believing that the “tyranny of the open night’s too rough / For nature to endure.”   Lear refuses to enter:

Thou think’st ’tis much that this contentious storm
Invades us to the skin: so ’tis to thee;
But where the greater malady is fix’d,
The lesser is scarce felt. Thou’ldst shun a bear;
But if thy flight lay toward the raging sea,
Thou’ldst meet the bear i’ the mouth. When the mind’s free,
The body’s delicate: the tempest in my mind
Doth from my senses take all feeling else
Save what beats there. Filial ingratitude!
Is it not as this mouth should tear this hand
For lifting food to’t? But I will punish home:
No, I will weep no more. In such a night
To shut me out! Pour on; I will endure.
In such a night as this! O Regan, Goneril!
Your old kind father, whose frank heart gave all,–
O, that way madness lies; let me shun that;
No more of that.

Have you ever been really upset?  So upset that you can’t stop thinking about the distressing situation?

King Lear feels that the greatest storm is in his mind, in his ruminations.  He argues that one would not run away from a bear only to run towards a raging sea.  Similarly, Lear would not run away from an outdoor storm only to “run towards” an “indoor storm” – that is, the madness within.  He does not want to lose his mind.

Instead, Lear hopes that nature’s storm will distract him from his tempestuous thoughts, thoughts about how Regan and Goneril betrayed him.

Image from ClipArt ETC.

What if Shakespeare…were a MUSICIAN?

Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments /Will hum about mine ears. [1] I heard a bird so sing,/ Whose music, to my thinking, pleas’d the King. [2] Give me some music; music, moody food / Of us that trade in love. [3] Play, music, then! Nay, you must do it soon. [4]

Come, give me an instrument.[5] Aha! Come, some music! Come, the recorders! [6] The music, ho! [7] …for love’s sake, to make no more noise with it. [8]

What poor an instrument [9] That knows no touch to tune the harmony. [10] I did… but loath am to produce so bad an instrument. [11] There is much music, excellent voice, in this little organ, yet cannot you make it speak. [12]

What, to make thee an instrument, and play false strains upon thee! [13] The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices Make instruments to scourge us. [14] No medicine in the world can do thee good. [15] Hence, vile instrument! Thou shalt not damn my hand. [16] May these same instruments never sound more! [17]

Shakespeare re-arranged by Zhan Zhang.


1) Tempest [III. 2. 1535]

2) Henry IV, Part II [V. 5. 3706-3708]

3) Antony and Cleopatra [II. 5. 1049]

4) Love’s Labour’s Lost [V. 2. 2103]

5) Troilus and Cressida [III. 1. 1581]

6) Hamlet [III. 2. 2178]

7) Antony and Cleopatra [II. 5. 1051]

8) Othello [III. 1. 1559]

9) Antony and Cleopatra [V. 2. 3688]

10) Richard II [I. 3. 462]

11) All’s Well That Ends Well [V. 3. 2906]

12) Hamlet [III. 2. 2246-2247]

13) As You Like It [IV. 3. 2069]

14) King Lear [V. 3. 3327]

15) Hamlet [V. 2. 3971]

16) Cymbeline [III. 4. 1797]

17) Coriolanus [I. 9. 814]

What if Shakespeare…were a SPORTS COMMENTATOR?



A happy evening [1] and ye’re welcome all [2]. We first address toward you [3] that stay’d at home [4], and they that watch [5] from yonder [6] elsewhere / from me far off [7], a hundred thousand welcomes [8]. This great sport [9] is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage [10]. And mark thee [11] well worth watching [12].

And all that are assembled in this place [13] that wait [14] with bated breath [15], lend me your ears [16]. Hark! hark! what shout is that [17] among the crowd? [18] And, hark! they shout for joy [19]. Thus we are agreed [20] what sport tonight [21] you shall see [22].

Be the players ready? [23] Ajax is ready [24] And look you [25] Percy is already in the field [26]. With roaring voices [27] the shouting plebeians [28] bid the players make haste [29]. Hark, they roar! [30] loud shouts and salutations from their mouths [31]. Alas, what joy! [32] There are the players [33]. Aeneas is a-field [34.] At last, though long [35] now I see [36] Anthony is come into the field [37]. Then shall we have a match [38].

Ajax goes up and down the field [39]. On there, pass along! [40] He scores, he scores [41] This cheers my heart [42]. He knows the game [43] excellent well [44]. Hark, the game is roused! [45] Shouts and claps out-voice the deep mouth’d sea [46].

And then begin again and stop again [47]. The match [48] is tied [49]. Methought that Gloucester stumbled [50]. They stumble that run fast [51]. Let’s see the penalty, [52] who takes it? [53] The thrice-victorious Lord of Falconbridge [54]. No no, it cannot be! [55] he hath miss’d [56]. The people in the street cry [57] you base football player [58].

And then the people fell a-shouting [59]. But where’s the great Alcides of the field, / Valiant Lord Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury [61]. He has been yonder [61] on the bench [62]. And in all this time [63] why he, of all the rest, hath never moved [64]. With open outcry [65] the crowd [66] call him forth [67], a most gallant fellow [68] to win this easy match [69]. Here he comes [70] once more unto the breach [71]. Hark! do you not hear the / people cry [72] roaring louder than / the sea or weather [73].

It grows very late [74], the sport is at the best [75] when none can call [76] – who loses and who wins; who’s in, who’s out [77]. My heart leaps [78] breathless and faint [79], I cannot bring / my tongue to such a pace [80]. But look thee here [81] brave Talbot [82] how he outruns the wind and with what care / he cranks and crosses with a thousand doubles [83.]

The game is up! [84] Victorious Talbot [85] now hath won the day [86]. Didst thou not hear their shouts? [87] The ways of glory [88] would scarce make that be believed [89]. Renowned Talbot [90] he hath done well in people’s eyes, / hearing applause and universal shout, / giddy in spirit, still gazing in a doubt / whether these pearls of praise be his or no [91].

The games are done [92] This had been cheerful after victory [93]. O my soul’s joy! [94] I saw not better sport these seven years’ day [95]. A thousand thanks and [96] fare thee well [97]. In celebration of this day [98] applause and loving shout [99] shall be heard [100] through the streets [101]. Why, then, good night indeed [102].

Shakespeare – re-arranged by Linda Nicoll

1.        Two Gentlemen of Verona [V. i. 2056]

2.       Coriolanus [II. i. 1113]

3.       King Lear [I. i. 204]

4.       Pericles [II. iv. 553]

5.       Rape of Lucrece [1626]

6.       Henry VI P I [III. ii. 1466]

7.       Sonnet 61 [13-14]

8.       Coriolanus [II, i. 1114]

9.       Henry VIII [I. i. 88]

10.     Romeo and Juliet [Prologue 1, 12]

11.     Henry IV P I [II. iv. 1196]

12.     Cymbeline [II. iv. 1257]

13.     The Comedy of Errors [V. i. 1841]

14.     Two Gentlemen of Verona [IV. ii. 1770]

15.     The Merchant of Venice [I. iii. 451]

16.     Julius Caesar [III. Ii. 1617]

17.     Troilus and Cressida [V. ix. 3619]

18.     Henry VIII [IV. i. 2481]

19.     Julius Caesar [V. iii. 2528]

20.     Anthony and Cleopatra II. vi. 1283

21.     Anthony and Cleopatra [I. ii. 57]

22.     All’s Well That Ends Well [III. Vi. 1824]

23.     Hamlet III. [I. i. 1986-87]

24.     Troilus and Cressida [III. iii. 1901]

25.     All’s Well That Ends Well [V. iii. 3032]

26.     Henry IV PI [IV. ii. 2443-44]

27.     King Lear [II. iii. 1265]

28.     Anthony and Cleopatra [IV. xii. 2942]

29.     Hamlet [III. ii. 1925]

30.     The Tempest [IV. i. 2008]

31.     Henry IV P I [III. ii. 1876]

32.     Henry VI P I [IV. iii. 2967]

33.     Hamlet [II. ii. 1452]

34.     Troilus and Cressida [V. iii. 3354]

35.     Taming of the Shrew [V. ii. 2489]

36.     All’s Well That Ends Well [I. iii. 492]

37.     Anthony and Cleopatra [IV. vi. 2713]

38.     All’s Well That Ends Well [V. iii. 2708]

39.     Troilus and Cressida [[III. iii. 2129]

40.     Anthony and Cleopatra [III. i. 1589]

41.     All’s Well That Ends Well [IV. iii. 2307]

42.     Henry VI P III [V. iv. 2870]

43.     Henry VI P III [III. ii. 1484]

44.     Hamlet [II. ii. 1279]

45.     Cymbeline [III. iii 1708]

46.     Henry V [V. Chorus, 2849]

47.     Richard III [III. v 2071]

48.     The Comedy of Errors [III. ii. 854]

49.     Sonnet 137 [8]

50.     Richard III [I. iv. 851]

51.     Romeo and Juliet [II. iii. 156]

52.     Love’s Labour’s Lost I. i. 126]

53.     Coriolanus [IV. vii. 3252]

54.     Henry VI P I [IV. vii. 2324]

55.     All’s Well That Ends Well [II. i. 601]

56.     Cymbeline [I. i. 20]

57.     Romeo and Juliet [V. iii. 3164]

58.     King Lear [I. iv. 615]

59.     Julius Caesar [I. ii. 315]

60.     Henry VI P I [IV. vii. 2317-18]

61.     Twelfth Night [II. v. 1043-44]

62.     Timon of Athens [IV. iii. 1702]

63.     As You Like It [IV. i.1877]

64.     Two Gentlemen of Verona [I. ii. 177]

65.     Romeo and Juliet [V. iii. 3166]

66.     Henry VIII [IV. i. 2481]

67.     Henry IV P I [V. ii. 1517]

68.     All’s Well That Ends Well [III. v. 1701]

69.     King John [III. I 1264]

70.     Coriolanus [II. iii. 1462]

71.     Henry V [III. i. 1092]

72.     Troilus and Cressida [I. ii. 372-73]

73.     The Winter’s Tale [III. iii 1596-97]

74.     Romeo and Juliet [III. iii. 2045]

75.     Romeo and Juliet [I. v. 748]

76.     Macbeth [V. i. 2162]

77.     King Lear [V. iii. 3138]

78.     Pericles [V. iii. 2573]

79.     Henry IV P I [I. iii. 357]

80.     Coriolanus [II. iii. 1476-77]

81.     The Winter’s Tale [III. iii. 1606]

82.     Henry VI P I [II. i. 694-95]

83.     Venus and Adonis [703-4]

84.     Cymbeline [III. iii 1708]

85.     Henry VI P I [II. iii. 900]

86.     Henry VI P III [IV. iv. 2257]

87.     Julius Caesar [V. iii. 2594]

88.     Henry VIII [III. ii. 2349]

89.     All’s Well That Ends Well [IV. i. 1959]

90.     Henry VI P I [IV. iii. 2039]

91.     The Merchant of Venice [III. ii. 1512-15]

92.     Julius Caesar [I. ii. 269]

93.     Henry IV P II [IV. ii. 2535]

94.     Othello [II. i. 975]

95.     Henry VI P II [II. i. 728]

96.     Henry V [IV. iv. 2429]

97.     All’s Well That Ends Well [II. i. 745]

98.     Henry VIII [IV. i. 2389]

99.     Richard III [III. vii. 2240]

100.   King John [I. i. 28]

101.   Anthony and Cleopatra [I. i. 64]

102.   Anthony and Cleopatra [III. x. 2099]

Shakespeare in Art – Fuseli’s Lear

Henry Fuseli – like Joseph Wright of Derby – painted Shakespearean themes for John Boydell’s Shakspeare Gallery (yes, Shakspeare).  Born in Switzerland, working in England, Fuseli travelled to Italy where he was inspired by Classical art (“perfect” proportions and lots of draped garments), Renaissance art (Michelangelo and the revival of those Classical ideals), and Mannerist art (long necks, contorted forms, and more artificial looks).

Fuseli’s King Lear Admonishing Cordelia (1790) illustrates a moment from the first act and scene.  An aging Lear has decided to divide his kingdom between his three daughters – Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia.  Wanting to partition the land in proportion to his daughters’ love, Lear asks them to express the depth of their affection.  Both Goneril and Regan make grand proclamations, but Cordelia “cannot heave [her] heart into [her] mouth.”  Lear disinherits Cordelia and bestows his kingdom Goneril and Regan.



So young, and so untender?


So young, my lord, and true.


Let it be so; thy truth, then, be thy dower:
For, by the sacred radiance of the sun,
The mysteries of Hecate, and the night;
By all the operation of the orbs
From whom we do exist, and cease to be;
Here I disclaim all my paternal care,
Propinquity and property of blood,
And as a stranger to my heart and me
Hold thee, from this, for ever.
The barbarous Scythian,
Or he that makes his generation messes
To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom
Be as well neighbour’d, pitied, and relieved,
As thou my sometime daughter.


Ouch.  Not a parenting tactic that I would recommend.

Ultimately, Goneril and Regan drive Lear both mad and out of his kingdom.  And it is none but the faithful Cordelia who aids her father and dies in the process.  In the end, Lear learns that Cordelia was, in fact, the one who loved him best.

Fuseli spent months in the Sistine Chapel learning from Michelangelo’s paintings, discovering how to create visual tension between human forms.  There are several people in this painting but the light and tripartite composition draw our eyes to King Lear, who sits in the middle of the canvas.  Lear’s belligerent gaze and extended finger draw our eyes to Cordelia, whose disheartened face, in turn, brings us back to Lear.