Some Culture

Jonathan Stowe jns at
Fri Aug 18 22:07:46 BST 2006

On Fri, 2006-08-18 at 21:01, John Costello wrote:
> On Wed, 16 Aug 2006, Dave Cross wrote:
> > Quoting David Cantrell <david at>:
> > 
> > >
> > >
> > > A Midsummer Night's Dream, at the open-air theatre in Regents Park.
> > > Who's up for it?
> > 
> > I had the pleasure of seeing this last night. It's not the best  
> > production of A Midsummer Night's Dream that I've ever seen, but it's  
> > still pretty good. And, of course, the Open Air Theatre is the perfect  
> > venue for that particular play.
> > 
> > So, who else thinks it's slightly unfair that Demetrius ends the play  
> > still under the influence of the magic spell?
> Slightly unfair, yes, but Shakespeare is never (or at least rarely) fair,
> especially toward men.  No that isn't some pseudo-feminist claptrap.  I'm
> thinking of his favorable attitude toward daughters in several plays (A
> Winters Tale, The Tempest, King Lear, As You Like It, even Romeo and
> Juliet to a lesser extent) and his relationship with his daughter.  Any
> man in Shakespeare who mistreats a daughter or tries to avoid her love is
> going to come to an unpleasant end.

I'm not convinced.  The "pelican daughters" in King Lear are most
definitely not portrayed in a positive light and Cordelia is forced into
a subterfuge that echoes Edgars feigned madness and winds up hanged as
the fool.  
At the end of King Lear only Edgar is left with a credible voice despite
the fact that Cordelia went through a similar experience.


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