Exploring Shakespeare’s “King Lear”

April 10, 2017

Students examine the beautiful, tragic work of Shakespeare’s “King Lear.”

“Nothing will come of nothing,” one of King Lear’s oft-quoted phrases, was again proved false during the final performance of the Shakespearean tragedy at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis on Sunday, April 2.

AP student Valentina Larchenko ’17 explains, “Everything in this play comes from nothing, from Cordelia’s response to her father’s demand she and her sisters declare the degree of their love for him.” The unfolding of the king’s mind and his decent into madness, although a difficult tragedy, is a beautiful work. 

The English Department sponsored “King Lear” for all sophomores, many new to a professionally staged Shakespearean play; AP Literature and Composition seniors; and members of The Major. In preparation for the performance, sophomores read (and acted out) Act I; whereas, the AP students spent several weeks reading and discussing the play. Overall more than 130 students attended this critically praised production at the historic Guthrie Theater.

According to Don Scheel, English Department Chair, seeing this wonderful performance was the culmination of a seven months planning which started when English Instructor Jan Gould-Martin ’75 lobbied to take all of her students to see “King Lear.” She and English Instructor Kitty Gorman worked tirelessly to plan and execute this ambitious theater excursion.

For more play information, visit the Guthrie Theater website.