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  1. Dad of Four Inactive
    Dad of Four
    @DadofFour

    I cannot answer based on the films as I choose to experience my Shakespeare live (OSF FTW!).

    That said, what I love are different interpretations of Lear over time.  The magic of the Bard is that he provides an archetype that directors and actors choose to interpret in their own way.  These various interpretations, combined with my own experiences in life,  provoke me to think and feel in different ways.

    Thus, I look less for the “Greatest” Lear and more for the Lear(s) that expand my understanding of the situation of Lear.

    Currently Lear helps me understand the realization that as a father (or parent) my interactions with my children across the years may create consequences that I never imagined and that I may not enjoy or appreciate.

    • #1
  2. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Dad of Four: I cannot answer based on the films as I choose to experience my Shakespeare live (OSF FTW!).

    We’re working to provide the most complete customer service experience imaginable here on Ricochet, but we’re not quite yet ready to roll out the live Shakespeare performances in your living room. Give us a few more months. It’s on the to-do list.

    • #2
  3. Brian Watt Inactive
    Brian Watt
    @BrianWatt

    I enjoyed this version quite a bit:

    • #3
  4. MLH Inactive
    MLH
    @MLH

    Timely, Claire, as there is bit about modernizing the language of the Bard in today’s WSJ. (I haven’t read it, yet; and, alas, don’t know much Shakespeare.)

    • #4
  5. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Brian Watt:I enjoyed this version quite a bit:

    Completely forgot to include that one — and it’s an absolute masterpiece. Thanks for adding it.

    • #5
  6. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    MLH: Timely, Claire, as there is bit about modernizing the language of the Bard in today’s WSJ. (I haven’t read it, yet; and, alas, don’t know much Shakespeare.)

    Today’s the day! Want to read it together while watching it? Bet we’ve got lots of people here who would enjoy that — maybe we could even use the chat function to do that?

    • #6
  7. MLH Inactive
    MLH
    @MLH

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    MLH: Timely, Claire, as there is bit about modernizing the language of the Bard in today’s WSJ. (I haven’t read it, yet; and, alas, don’t know much Shakespeare.)

    Today’s the day! Want to read it together while watching it? Bet we’ve got lots of people here who would enjoy that — maybe we could even use the chat function to do that?

    Great idea! I must get outside for a dose of exercise  before it gets too hot. I will comment when I’m back.

    • #7
  8. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I do not know which is more breathtaking: that YouTube has these clips available to mortals like me or that Ricochet has an editor who can, and has, put them together for us to listen to and compare and listen to again.

    There will be a second and greater worldwide Renaissance if we keep this up. :)

    I think it is just around the corner.

    • #8
  9. Aaron Miller Inactive
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Who do you think played the greatest Lear of all, and why?

    Denis Leary? He was so… well, you know.

    • #9
  10. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Aaron Miller: Denis Leary? He was so… well, you know.

    “Leary” is an adjective meaning kinda, sorta like Lear, but not exactly.

    • #10
  11. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    The Howl speech is one of the toughest ones to pull off.  I liked the last one best (Nesbitt Blaisdell according to YouTube), but Gielgud is pretty good too.

    • #11
  12. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    My favorite part:

    Fool: Sirrah, I’ll teach thee a speech.

    Lear: Do.

    Fool: Mark it, nuncle:

    Have more than thou showest,
    Speak less than thou knowest,
    Lend less than thou owest,
    Ride more than thou goest,
    Learn more than thou trowest,
    Set less than thou throwest;
    Leave thy drink and thy whore,
    And keep in-a-door,
    And thou shalt have more
    Than two tens to a score.

    Kent: This is nothing, fool.

    Fool: Then ’tis like the breath of an unfee’d lawyer; you gave me nothing for’t. Can you make no use of nothing, nuncle?

    Lear: Why, no, boy; nothing can be made out of nothing.

    Fool: [To Kent] Prithee, tell him, so much the rent of his land comes to: he will not believe a fool.

    • #12
  13. Aaron Miller Inactive
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Jimmy Carter:

    Aaron Miller: Denis Leary? He was so… well, you know.

    “Leary” is an adjective meaning kinda, sorta like Lear, but not exactly.

    He’s more Leary than the others.

    And I’m leery of English actors.

    • #13
  14. Lidens Cheng Member
    Lidens Cheng
    @LidensCheng

    Tatsuya Nakadai in Ran.

    • #14
  15. SParker Member
    SParker
    @SParker

    Albert Finney playing Lear as Sir in the movie version of Ronald Harwood’s The Dresser.  Why?  Because it made me burst into tears in the parking lot leaving the movie.  (My father had passed 3 weeks before and I suppose I was overly sensitive to parallels.)

    You have now put me on a quest to to obtain the Alec Guinness radio version of King Lear.  And meditate on whether Fool isn’t really the hot part.  Thanx.

    • #15
  16. Eric Hines Inactive
    Eric Hines
    @EricHines

    Richard Dreyfuss.

    No, wait–that was an “Off Broadway effort” at Richard III.

    Eric Hines

    • #16
  17. ToryWarWriter Reagan
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    Christopher Plummer at the Stratford Festival.

    He had a great relationship with the other actors on stage especially with the fool.

    • #17
  18. MLH Inactive
    MLH
    @MLH

    MLH:

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    MLH: Timely, Claire, as there is bit about modernizing the language of the Bard in today’s WSJ. (I haven’t read it, yet; and, alas, don’t know much Shakespeare.)

    Today’s the day! Want to read it together while watching it? Bet we’ve got lots of people here who would enjoy that — maybe we could even use the chat function to do that?

    Great idea! I must get outside for a dose of exercise before it gets too hot. I will comment when I’m back.

    I’m back and have read the article in the WSJ. It’s makes sense to me as words have changed meaning–at least 10% of them according to the article. And the plan to translate all of the plays comes from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival which is rather well respected, no? even if it is so near the declasse west coast.

    • #18
  19. C.H. Reilly Inactive
    C.H. Reilly
    @CHReilly

    Christopher Plummer at Stratford has my vote too. He was so very real. His reading of “Oh, let me not be mad” has stuck with me for years. Heartbreaking.

    And The Dresser is fantastic.  Maybe the best “backstage movie” (a small, but delightful genre) ever.

    • #19
  20. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    MLH: Timely, Claire, as there is bit about modernizing the language of the Bard in today’s WSJ. (I haven’t read it, yet; and, alas, don’t know much Shakespeare.)

    Today’s the day! Want to read it together while watching it? Bet we’ve got lots of people here who would enjoy that — maybe we could even use the chat function to do that?

    Did anyone else like this idea? Because I’d be delighted to try to schedule a group watching/discussion/reading of the great Shakespeare plays for members and their kids on a semi-regular schedule … especially since we have so many home-schoolers among us, maybe that would be fun for or useful for them?

    • #20
  21. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    My Dear Dr. Berlinski,

    Surely you jest. Of course, it would be Larry’s Lear who would be number #1. Diana Rigg as Regan, John Hurt and Leo Mckern as a bonus too.

    Perhaps Old Lear reminds you of someone Claire. I dare not Trumpet his name.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #21
  22. Robert Lux Inactive
    Robert Lux
    @RobertLux

    Whoever the actor is at the 42:50 mark of Roger Scruton’s documentary, “Why Beauty Matters.”  Without any question the best I’ve ever seen. I would love to see the rest.

    Perhaps helped by fact that it’s from the best one hour documentary I’ve ever seen. What defines our whole world today is the denial of the beautiful. Its denial in the name of justice or the equal.

    • #22
  23. MLH Inactive
    MLH
    @MLH

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    MLH: Timely, Claire, as there is bit about modernizing the language of the Bard in today’s WSJ. (I haven’t read it, yet; and, alas, don’t know much Shakespeare.)

    Today’s the day! Want to read it together while watching it? Bet we’ve got lots of people here who would enjoy that — maybe we could even use the chat function to do that?

    Did anyone else like this idea? Because I’d be delighted to try to schedule a group watching/discussion/reading of the great Shakespeare plays for members and their kids on a semi-regular schedule … especially since we have so many home-schoolers among us, maybe that would be fun for or useful for them?

    Claire,
    The post has been buried or else most are out enjoying amazing early fall weather. But, I’m still up for some learning of Shakespeare (but need goading and coaching)!

    • #23
  24. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Claire,

    John Hurt as the fool!

    Ahh..to be an all licensed fool.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #24
  25. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.:

    Today’s the day! Want to read it together while watching it? Bet we’ve got lots of people here who would enjoy that — maybe we could even use the chat function to do that?

    Did anyone else like this idea? Because I’d be delighted to try to schedule a group watching/discussion/reading of the great Shakespeare plays for members and their kids on a semi-regular schedule … especially since we have so many home-schoolers among us, maybe that would be fun for or useful for them?

    I would enjoy this so much.

    So I’m thinking there has to be a way to draw these out so they are accessible for a while.

    Perhaps Max or Blue Yeti can figure out a way to put a little box in the right margin for Shakespeare?

    I plan to enjoy all of these King Lear snippets tomorrow. I will cast my vote.

    I worked for the publisher of Gwynne Blakemore Evans’ Riverside Shakespeare–it was in production for ten years, and I came along at the end. The editors then were my age now. They found me, the youngest editor in the department, to proofread the glosses. The glosses were in 7-point type, and my job was to make sure the commas were italic after italic words and roman after roman words. The editors could not see the marks too well. A fond memory for me. :)

    • #25
  26. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    If anyone wants to read King Lear, I’m in! If anyone wants to read talk about–Harry Jaffa wrote the best thing I’ve ever found, a discussion of what’s going on in act 1 scene 1 & how that sets up the politics of the play & explains the claim that Lear is the only perfect king Shakespeare portrayed.

    • #26
  27. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Now for an offbeat answer:  Marcia Gay Harden in the movie If I Were You.

    In this movie,there is a play within the movie, and her character is drafted for the lead role.  She plays a female King Lear, but it’s a modern version set in the corporate world.  Harden gives a superb performance not only in her movie role, but her play role within the movie.

    As for why I think she’s the best?  It’s the only version of King Lear I’ve ever seen.  To be sure, the movie doesn’t show the entire play, just snippets to keep the main plot going . . .

    • #27
  28. MLH Inactive
    MLH
    @MLH

    Stad:Now for an offbeat answer: Marcia Gay Harden in the movie If I Were You.

    In this movie,there is a play within the movie, and her character is drafted for the lead role. She plays a female King Lear, but it’s a modern version set in the corporate world. Harden gives a superb performance not only in her movie role, but her play role within the movie.

    As for why I think she’s the best? It’s the only version of King Lear I’ve ever seen. To be sure, the movie doesn’t show the entire play, just snippets to keep the main plot going . . .

    And Moonlighting‘s Taming of the Shrew was a good romp!

    Edit: If I Were You is available to stream on Netflix.

    • #28
  29. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    MLH: And Moonlighting‘s Taming of the Shrew was a good romp!

    One of my favorite episodes!  I cracked up when I saw the BMW logo on Bruce Willis’ horse . . .

    • #29
  30. AQ Member
    AQ
    @AQ

    I’m in too!

    • #30
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