‘I heard myself proclam’d:’ the transition in the critical and textual reception of Edgar in King Lear


  • James Dale Casimir Pulaski Radom University




Shakespeare, Edgar, King Lear, textual scholars, critical reception


The publication of Shakespeare's First Folio in 1623 marked the beginning of a period, lasting over three centuries, in which the critical reception of Edgar in King Lear was often unenthusiastic, judging by the opinions of subsequent theatre practitioners and literary critics. There were voices that questioned Edgar's relevance to the plot and considered him a superfluous character. Moreover, Edgar's heteroglossia was increasingly toned down in stage interpretations, removing the complex polyphony of Shakespeare's character by omitting lines given to the character in the Quarto version of the play. Since the mid-twentieth century, however, the critical (and textual) reception of Edgar has changed, as evidenced by the research of textual scholars who seek to preserve the ethical meaning of Edgar in the play. This has resulted in Edgar's text being revisited in stage performances. In addition, recent critics are paying more attention to Edgar's dexterity in the use of language and disguise, which they believe restores the character's role as crucial to the play's plot.


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How to Cite

Dale, J. (2022). ‘I heard myself proclam’d:’ the transition in the critical and textual reception of Edgar in King Lear. Radomskie Studia Filologiczne. Radom Philological Studies, 1(11), 24–40. https://doi.org/10.24136/rsf.2022.002