Das Leben und der Tod des Königs Lear

by and

Where is the 6th star, or even up to the 101st? Most likely the best English language play ever written, with one of the most phenomenal characters ever created. Hundreds of years before neural imaging began (like, last Tuesday,) to reveal the importance of intrinsic and extrinsic networks on behavior, the different tendencies between men and women and between man and man, the pyramidical, male-dominated social structures our species has tended to create over the last 10,000 years or so, Shakespeare intuited so, so much. From the start, where nothing will come from nothing, (a pun on 'noting' or social mores which, perhaps, the Bard intended in a more comprehensive way,) to Lear's failed, heartbreaking attempt to return to and save something greater than himself, it's a devastating, crystal clear work. We should use our tongues and eyes to crack heaven's gate, but we don't. A lifetime of careful observation, a brilliant mind, and a one-in-a-billion talent for prosody concentrated into a few hours.