Many argue that the Tragedy of King Lear is Shakespeare's most overpowering work. Our Misfits, though definitely not Shakespeare scholars, agree that it is overpowering and declared it to be one of the best books we have read. We found the play to be a riveting portrayal of the suffering and disaster that resulted from the character defects Lear displayed at the beginning of the play. He foolishly divides his Kingdom among two of his least deserving daughters. Then he sets up his downfall by banishing his third and most virtuous daughter when she offends him by not fawning over him in professing her love. He, like many people of power, expected flattery at all times, showing himself to be a man who values appearances over reality. By his ill-thought action, he sowed chaos and discord throughout his former kingdom. As a result of his actions he slowly loses his sanity and descends into madness.
We asked ourselves if Lear learned from his mistakes? The answer seemed to be, "Yes and No". He doesn't completely recover his sanity or emerge as a better King. However, as he faces death at the end of the play, we could see that his values have changed. We saw that he slowly comes to understand his own weakness and his insignificance especially when compared to the awesome forces of nature. In the end, he has developed a certain humility and he emerges as a caring, loving individual who comprehends how deeply he has hurt his kingdom and those who loved him the most. As he faces death, he declares that he would rather live in prison with the daughter he has wronged than once again rule as a king. He comes to cherish Cordelia's selfless love and places his love for her above every other consideration. At the end, his defects are purged but at terrible cost and suffering.
Now to the future:
Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, December 11, when we will discuss Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis. This is the first book of Lewis' celebrated Space Trilogy. The story begins the Space Trilogy with the adventures of the remarkable Dr. Ransom, a man who is abducted by a villainous physicist and taken in a spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra. First published in 1943, "Out of the Silent Planet remains a mysterious and suspenseful tour de force." But wait, there is more! We will meet to discuss this book at Claret Farm, the new location of Loome Theological Books. Owner, proprietor, bookseller extraordinaire, and fellow Misfit, Chris Hagen, has invited us to have our meeting there. We appreciate this kind offer and the venue it affords.
Our meeting at Claret Farm will also be a Christmas Party for the Misfits. I do hope as many of you as possible can attend and help us celebrate not only our love of reading Catholic literature, but also to recognize the great fellowship shared by men who love our Faith and the Catholic Church.. Our book discussion and celebration will start at 7:00 pm. Please let me know what you can bring by way of treats, delectable's, or something to imbibe. (I plan to bring a mulled wine. I believe Misfit Druffner will bring a Bourbon suitable for the occasion.) We will have a good time as we begin our celebrations in anticipation of the miraculous birth of the Christ Child.
Please come and help us celebrate. And also, please let me know if you are coming.
And finally, we will read the second book of the Space Trilogy, Perelandra in January, 2014 and the third book, That Hideous Strength, in February, 2014.
May God bless each of you,