Abstract

According to Heidegger, "mortals live in the speaking of language"—to respond genuinely to language is to bring human being into existence. The Indo-European root gen-, meaning "to beget"—with derivatives including "kin," "kind," "king," "generation," "gentle," "gender," "native," "nation," and "nature"—is an index to two central questions in Shakespeare's plays: "Are human beings, by nature, kind?" and "Are the gods kind?" King Lear finds himself in a world of gen- topsy-turvy. His response to language and to the absent gods recalls us to our own mortal being.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 36-52
Launched on MUSE
2013-08-02
Open Access
No
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