This article examines the contrast between early modern and twenty-first century understandings of madness, particularly as related to Shakespeare's King Lear in performance. The political implications which early modern audiences may have read into the King's mental disturbances are likely not present for twenty-first century audiences, many of whom might desire a deeper examination of Lear's interiority. This article discusses recent productions of Lear which have explored the unique relationship between King Lear and his Fool, suggesting that the connection between the two characters may provide a key to staging Lear's madness for twenty-first century audiences.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Literature and Literary Theory
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts