John E. Curran, Jr. (essay date August 1999)
SOURCE: Curran, John E., Jr. “Geoffrey of Monmouth in Renaissance Drama: Imagining Non-History.” Modern Philology 97, no. 1 (1999): 1-20.
[In this essay, Curran reviews the story told in Shakespeare's King Lear as it appears in several chronicle plays, comparing Shakespeare's more poetic treatment of historical events and figures with those of more factual chronicle dramas.]
At the end of King Lear, Shakespeare makes a crucial decision that sheds much light on his intentions for the play: contrary to the story he would have read everywhere else, he has Regan and Goneril die without issue. Geoffrey of Monmouth's version, recounted in his...
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