AO3 ‘King Lear’ critics quotes – sanity/insanity

Jan Kott “Lear is ridiculous, naive and stupid. He does not see or understand anything”
Folio version 1623 Lear dies with hope at the end, believing Cordelia to be alive – “look there, look there!” This displays the extent of his delusion
Quarto version 1608 Lear dies without hope – “break heart, I prithee break”. This is a more nihilistic ending, showing him as the broken man. However, it was deemed to pessimistic for the original audience so was changed.
Heilman “The sanity of the mad is that they can understand eternal truths”
Orwell The Fool is “the trickle of sanity running through the play”
Tolstoy The Fool is “a tedious nuisance”
Jan Kott The Fool has “no illusions” He “knows that the only true madness is to regard this world as rational”

You Might Also Like