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Dr. Angela Farr Schiller
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“It is sometimes said that the problem with the part of Lear is that by the time you are old enough to play it, you are too old to play it.” (Jonathan Bate)
Theatre critics rarely see an outstanding performance of King Lear. The thesis of this paper is that it is possible to successfully perform the role of Lear however it takes much more than excellent acting skills to do so. To successfully play Lear requires a visceral understanding of the profound psychological and physical changes that generally begin around age sixty-five. This paper demonstrates that what one learns from having lived a long life, along with the physical and mental stamina demanded of the role, are essential to a successful performance of King Lear. Attempting to do so without the benefit of that experience not only dehumanizes the character being portrayed; it is also a disservice to the audience.
Wallace, Jim B.
"Too Young or Too Old? Age and The Politics of Performing King Lear - Successfully!,"
The Kennesaw Journal of Undergraduate Research: Vol. 7
, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/kjur/vol7/iss1/2
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