Sunday 27 December 2020

Destructive forces: in King Lear and the Odyssey

Two forces:

the one where you destroy things;

the other when things destroy you.

King Lear destroys the love

Cordelia had for him

but he is destroyed by bigger forces

coming from Goneril, Regan and Edmund.

Unlike Odysseus’s hubris

where his destruction of Polyphemus

brings on the destructive powers of Poseidon,

Lear’s destruction of love

doesn’t bring on

the destructive powers of

Goneril, Regan and Edmund.

You can say

that through facing their destructive powers

Lear comes to see that

he was wrong to have destroyed

the love he had.

The cause and effect of the Odyssey

is reversed.

And then

interwoven into that

Lear comes to see that ‘pomp’

- wealth and power -

needs to ‘take physic’

it needs to be taken down,

be made more merciful, kinder

and more egalitarian:

‘Shake the superflux’,

he says.