This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1859 edition. Excerpt: ...of nature. The acceptedMoreThis historic book may have numerous typos and missing text.
Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1859 edition. Excerpt: ...of nature. The accepted explanation of Lears mental history, that he is at first a man of sound mind, but of extreme vanity and feeble power of judgment, and that, under the stimulus of subsequent insanity, this weak and shallow mind develops into the fierce Titan of passion, with clear insight into the heart of man, with vast stores of life science, with large grasp of morals and polity, with terrible eloquence making known as with the voice of inspiration the heights and depths of human nature- that all this, under the spur of disease, should be developed from the sterile mind of a weak and vain old man- this, indeed, is a gross improbability, in which we see no clue to explanation.
Gross improbabilities of circumstance are not so rare in Shakespeare. The weird sisters in Macbeth, and the ghost in Hamlet, are certainly not more probable as events, than the partition of Lears kingdom. But there is one kind of improbability which is not to be found in Shakespeare--the systematic development of goodness from badness, of strength from weakness- the union of that which, either in the region of feeling or of intellect, is antagonistic and incompatible.
Even in depicting the mere creatures of the imagination, Shakespeare is consistent- we feel the fairy to be a fairy, the ghost to be a ghost- and even those foul tempters in womans form, Who look not like the inhabitants of the earth And yet are on it, are distinct, special, clear-cut creations of the poets brain, consistent in every characteristic with themselves: Ariel is all aerial, and Caliban all earthly. In Shakespeares characters there is no monstrous union of fair with foul, and foul with fair, as in those phantasms who opposed Ruggier in the island of Alcina: K...