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Finally available, a high quality book of the original classic edition of Tolstoy on Shakespeare.

This is a new and freshly published edition of this culturally important work by Leo Tolstoy, which is now, at last, again available to you.

Enjoy this classic work today. These selected paragraphs distill the contents and give you a quick look inside Tolstoy on Shakespeare:

Not to mention the pompous, characterless language of King Lear, the same in which all Shakespeares Kings speak, the reader, or spectator, can not conceive that a King, however old and stupid he may be, could believe the words of the vicious daughters, with whom he had passed his whole life, and not believe his favorite daughter, but curse and banish her; and therefore the spectator, or reader, can not share the feelings of the persons participating in this unnatural scene.

...Lear becomes yet more exasperated and again curses Goneril, but when he is told that it was the Duke himself who ordered the stocks, he does not say anything, because, at this moment, Regan tells him that she can not receive him now and that he had best return to Goneril, and that in a months time she herself will receive him, with, however, not a hundred but fifty servants.

...Lears vacillations between pride, anger, and the hope of his daughters giving in, would be exceedingly touching if it were not spoilt by the verbose absurdities to which he gives vent, about being[24] ready to divorce himself from Regans dead mother, should Regan not be glad to receive him,-or about his calling down fen suckd frogs which he invokes, upon the head of his daughter, or about the heavens being obliged to patronize old people because they themselves are old.

...Then the King, after his disconnected utterances, suddenly begins to speak ironically about flatterers, who agreed to all he said, Ay, and no, too, was no good divinity, but, when he got into a storm without shelter, he saw all this was not true; and then goes on to[37] say that as all creation addicts itself to adultery, and Gloucesters bastard son had treated his father more kindly than his daughters had treated him (altho Lear, according to the development of the drama, could not know how Edmund had treated Gloucester), therefore, let dissoluteness prosper, the more so as, being a King, he needs soldiers.

...Then, when, according to the old drama, Leir asks his daughters about their love for him, Cordelia does not say, as Shakespeare has it, that she will not give her father all her love, but will love her husband, too, should she marry-which is quite unnatural-but simply says that she can not express her love in words, but hopes that her actions will prove it.

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