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Bradley, A. C. Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth.
2nd ed. London: Macmillan, 1905.
PAGE 456

     Of course the chair arrangement is primitive, but the Elizabethans did not care about such things. What they cared for was dramatic effect:



     I found my impression of the extraordinary ineffectiveness of this battle (p. 255) confirmed by a paper of James Spedding (New Shakspere Society Transactions, 1877, or Furness's King Lear, p. 312 f.); but his opinion that this is the one technical defect in King Lear seems certainly incorrect, and his view that this defect is not due to Shakespeare himself will not, I think, bear scrutiny.

     To make Spedding's view quite clear I may remind the reader that in the preceding scene the two British armies, that of Edmund and Regan, and that of Albany and Goneril, have entered with drum and colours, and have departed. Scene ii. is as follows (Globe):

SCENE II. -- A field between the two camps.
Alarum within. Enter, with drum and colours, Lear, Cordelia, and Soldiers, over the stage; and exeunt. Enter Edgar and Gloster.
   Edg.  Here, father, take the shadow of this tree
For your good host; pray that the right may thrive:
If ever I return to you again,
I'll bring you comfort.
   Glo.                  Grace go with you, sir!   [Exit Edgar.

Alarum and retreat within. Re-enter Edgar.

   Edg . Away, old man; give me thy hand; away!
King Lear hath lost, he and his daughter ta'en:
Give me thy hand; come on.
   Glo.  No farther, sir; a man may rot even here.
   Edg.  What, in ill thoughts again? Men must endure
Their going hence, even as their coming hither:
Ripeness is all: come on.
   Glo.  And that's true too.   [Exeunt.

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