Some neat things in the play that I discovered while writing my thesis:
1. Some critics have made much of the fact that, had Sophocles
written this play, Lear would have been blinded instead of Gloucester, and that Shakespeare's displacement is therefore fairly odd. I agree. Less noted, however, is the fact that, although Lear is perpetually complaining about his heart (i.e. "O! How this mother swells up toward my heart!"
), it is actually Gloucester that eventually dies of a heart attack
2. It is ironically fitting that, in that same scene
, Regan dies of poisoning; she spends much of the play claiming falsely that she is "too sick" to meet with her father.
3. Interesting, how in a play that is absolutely obsessed with the idea of limits, the final scene
would take place at Dover -- literally the ass-end of England.
(I also wish that I had somehow worked the following line into my final draft: 'Of course, if you name your daughter "Goneril", you sort of deserve everything that you get.')