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Shakespeare Retreat
Italy 2024

June 11 - 20

King Lear is sometimes described as the most tragic of the tragedies. It is the most tremendous in it's overall design and brings into play the most elemental forces. It makes the most irresistible demand upon any audience of those emotions of pity and awe, the purification of which is the function and deliberate end of tragedy.

This play belongs to the latter phase of Shakespearean tragedy. In his second phase Shakespeare's attention and speculation seems to shift from the nature of man to the nature of what is around and above man. It seeks the primary causes of tragic disaster less in the imperfect nature of a hero, although this must still contribute, than in external forces.

Like Hamlet, it takes it's starting point from the family relations and the human emotions which are built up upon these. Lear himself is a man of passionate inclination and unrestrained temper who in his old age is swept along by two imperious instincts, that of personal domination and that of natural affection for his daughters. He abdicates out of an impulse to endear himself to his daughters, but it has never entered his head what abdication really means and what it's dire consequences will be.

By wilfully dividing the kingdom and recklessly setting aside his God-given responsibilities to perform the role given to him he sets in train an inevitable descent into darkness not only for him but for those closest to him and for his state as a whole.

A dynamic programme is centred on morning study with further late afternoon study opportunities including a film session and some practical acting workshops. All this is combined with delicious lunches each day, and three evening dinners, one outside consisting of pizza and prosecco. A live musical evening is one of the highlights and visits to local restaurants and ancient towns surrounded by beautiful countryside add to the richness of this event. A pool and tennis court are available for all to enjoy.


The Tragedy of King Lear

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Kear Lear. Peter Brook. 1971.UK

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