The Notched Wing

Helen Tara Hughes – Poetry, Fiction, Film, Phantasms

Shakespeare’s Lear – Musings

From King Lear:

That sir which serves and seeks for gain,
And follows but for form,
Will pack when it begins to rain,
And leave thee in the storm…

Contradiction and surprise, encountered in a story, will always affect me – make me laugh, make me weep.

Later in the play, the mad Lear encounters the blind Gloucester on the heath – the King raves endlessly, Gloucester’s appearance proving inspiration for his mad imaginings. No he does not know him, he refuses Gloucester’s inquiries until,

just before the French soldiers come to detain the King,
just before the King leads them on a wild chase,
the King sees Gloucester
for a brief moment he sees him clearly
and he says:

If thou wilt weep my fortunes, take my eyes.
I know thee well enough; thy name is Gloucester:

and then, in his bedraggled state, consoles Gloucester like a child:

Thou must be patient; we came crying hither:
Thou know’st, the first time that we smell the air,
We wawl and cry.

ah. what a turn that is. I never see it coming, and it chokes me up every time.

Author: smallboy

Helen Tara Hughes is a writer, producer and actor. An award-winning theatre performer, she cut her teeth in classical and new work at major theatres across Canada, including the Stratford Festival. Her first taste of documentary work – a POV radio documentary for CBC’s ‘Outfront’ – gave her the documentary bug, and in 2009 she transitioned into Producing with the feature documentary, Goodness in Rwanda. As a writer, she has been published by, Eros Digest, and TWISI, and has a book of short stories that will be published in the fall of 2012. As a filmmaker, she creates short films based on poetic writing. She moonlights as an Asst Producer and Coordinator for documentary, factual, and independent films, and is developing a slate of her own media projects for 2013.

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