n Shakespeare in Southern Africa - In search of perfect freedom
The Quality of Mercy: Reflections on Shakespeare, Peter Brook : book review

Volume 26, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-582X



There is one picture, of an hour glass, on the dust jacket. Stage time, for Peter Brook, intensifies the value of every moment as each grain of sand filters through, just as an hour glass did for the medieval monk. So, is there any hint of Christian hope at the end of ? Yes, in Edgar's acknowledgment that those left behind, "we that are young ... shall never live so long" (5.3.344-45). Lear in those final moments, indeed throughout the play, has experienced life in its concentrated form. He has broken through almost to another dimension, to a life beyond life, beyond the "wheel of fire" (4.7.45) and "the rack of this tough world" (5.3.332).

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