Posted By Roger Stritmatter on March 19, 2011
This is a riddle. Gather and surmise; the questions are at the end. Here’s the text:
Lear. [to Regan] To thee and thine hereditary ever
Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom;
No less in space, validity, and pleasure,
Than that conferr’d on Goneril. Now, our joy,
Although the last, not least; to whose young love
The vines of France and milk of Burgundy
Strive to be interess’d; what can you say to draw
A third more opulent than your sisters? Speak.
Cor. Nothing, my lord.
Lear. Nothing will come of nothing: speak again.
Cor. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty
According to my bond; nor more nor less.
Lear. How, how, Cordelia! mend your speech a little,
Lest it may mar your fortunes.
Cor. Good my lord,
You have begot me, bred me, loved me: I
Return those duties back as are right fit,
Obey you, love you, and most honour you.
Why have my sisters husbands, if they say
They love you all? Haply, when I shall wed,
That lord whose hand must take my plight shall carry
Half my love with him, half my care and duty:
Sure, I shall never marry like my sisters,
To love my father all.
Lear. But goes thy heart with this?
Cor. Ay, good my lord.
Lear. So young, and so untender?
Cor. So young, my lord, and true.
Lear. Let it be so; thy truth, then, be thy dower…
And here’s the riddle: How does this literary duet provide internal linguistic evidence for the Earl of Oxford’s authorship of Lear?
I will personally ensure (and insure!) that the first person to post a comment with a clearly worded valid solution to this question will receive a free year’s subscription to Shakespeare Matters and a free copy of the second issue of Brief Chronicles.
1) Submission must be posted as a comment.
2) It must clearly identify the relevant intertextuality and explain its relevance to the Lear passage.
3) Current SM subscribers are not eligible. Knitwitted is not eligible. If I already know you on a first name basis, you are not eligible either. Sorry. This is a challenge for newbies, former wallflowers, and adventurous Stratfordians who have learned something more than Oxford’s date of death and are willing to start looking at the evidence, even if they aren’t fully convinced.
4) New rule: 3/26/11. It has been brought to my attention (again) that the internet is a haven for persons who use pseudonymous opportunity for insincere and sometimes deceitful purposes. To be awarded the prize the user must, of course, provide proof of his or her identity.