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Bradley, A. C. Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth.
2nd ed. London: Macmillan, 1905.
PAGE 454

  'Scene vii. -- A tent in the French camp. Lear on a bed asleep, soft music playing; Gentleman, and others attending.
   Enter Cordelia, Kent, and Doctor.'

     At line 25, where the Doctor says 'Please you, draw near,' Cordelia is supposed to approach the bed, which is imagined by some editors visible throughout at the back of the stage, by others as behind a curtain at the back, this curtain being drawn open at line 25.

     Now, to pass by the fact that these arrangements are in flat contradiction with the stage-directions of the Quartos and the Folio, consider their effect upon the scene. In the first place, the reader at once assumes that Cordelia has already seen her father; for otherwise it is inconceivable that she would quietly talk with Kent while he was within a few yards of her. The edge of the later passage where she addresses him is therefore blunted. In the second place, through Lear's presence the reader's interest in Lear and his meeting with Cordelia is at once excited so strongly that he hardly attends at all to the conversation of Cordelia and Kent; and so this effect is blunted too. Thirdly, at line 57, where Cordelia says,

                   O, look upon me, sir,
And hold your hands in benediction o'er me!
No, sir, you must not kneel,

the poor old King must be supposed either to try to get out of bed, or actually to do so, or to kneel, or to try to kneel, on the bed. Fourthly, consider what happens at line 81.

  Doctor.  Desire him to go in; trouble him no more
Till further settling.
  Cor.           Will't please your highness walk?
  Lear. You must bear with me;
Pray you now, forget and forgive; I am old and foolish.   [Exeunt all but Kent and Gentleman.

If Lear is in a tent containing his bed, why in the world, when the Doctor thinks he can bear no more emotion, is he made to walk out of the tent? A pretty doctor!

     But turn now to the original texts. Of course they say nothing about the place. The stage-direction at the beginning runs, in the Quartos, 'Enter Cordelia, Kent, and Doctor'; in the Folio, 'Enter Cordelia, Kent, and Gentleman.' They differ about the Gentleman and the Doctor, and the Folio

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