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Shaуtanov I.O. Speech Strategy in King Lear (on the Trends of Development in Cultural Reflection). Studia Litterarum, 2019, vol. 4, no 2, pp. 108–127. (In Russ.)

DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2019-4-2-108-127

Author: Igor O. Shaуtanov
Information about the author:

Igor O. Shaуtanov, DSc in Philology, Professor, Director of Research, Head of the Center of Contemporary Comparative Studies, Russian State University for the Humanities, Miusskaya Ploshad 6, 125993 Moscow, Russia; Leading Research Fellow, Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Prospect Vernadskogo, 82, bld. 1, 119571 Moscow, Russia.
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Received: January 20, 2019
Published: June 25, 2019
Issue: 2019 Vol. 4, №2
Department: World Literature
Pages: 108-127

UDK: 821.111
BBK: 83.3(4Вел)5
Keywords: King Lear, folio, quarto, speech strategy, ‘sonnets of 1603’, ought to, mind, inwardness, reflection, L.E. Pinsky, S.S. Averintsev.


The final lines, especially the first two of the four rhymed lines, in King Lear have often evoked discussion and prompted the following questions: why are they attributed to different characters in the quarto and folio editions of the play and, no matter who utters them, how to interpret them? Sometimes, though not often, they were related to the initial situation of the tragedy and Cordelia’s refusal to address the words of love to her father. In the present article, Cordelia’s silence and the meaning of the final words are contextualized with the group of later sonnets (‘sonnets of 1603’) within the general movement of Shakespeare’s speech strategy towards ‘inwardness’ (Stephen Greenblatt). The key word in this group of sonnets — mind — is loaded with new significance and circulates from sonnet to sonnet in a regular use. The deepening reflection is an important manifestation of the epochmaking turn in cultural history, and Shakespeare was among the first to problematize it in his sonnets and tragedies.


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