Tempest Excerpt: Conclusion on King Lear

Last two pages of the book King Lear with The Tempest:

There is a similar relation, [to that between Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream] based on a common pattern, between the British tragedy of Lear and the Italian comedy. These are the two non-historical plays that deal especially with a succession of Royal Rule. The unwise management of the three parts of the British kingdom by Lear is contrasted with the wise management of the Italian succession by Prospero. The tragic relation of Lear to his daughter, and perhaps his error regarding her marriage, is contrasted with the success of Prospero in securing a happy life for Miranda. The storm scenes, on the land in the center of Lear and at sea in the opening of the Tempest, indicate a treatment of the same theme, of the dissolution of the conventional orders. [6] The Tempest seems to presuppose the center, and hence the whole of Lear. The conventional kingship of Lear, which in the tragedy comes crashing down,is contrasted with the natural royalty or philosophic statesmanship of wisdom. Ironically, this natural royalty proves in certain ways to be what the flattery of custom told Lear he was as king.

As noted above, there is some parallel between Edgar and Prospero. The Tempest raises the theme of a conflict between brothers to the center of focus. The conflict of two brothers in Lear effects the changes of the kingdom in the main plot only as Edmund rises toward the tyranny, until Edgar, in the decisive duel, prevents Edmund from turning the fall of Lear into a tyranny. As in the Tempest, the victory of the royal nature over tyranny depends on the return of the divested but virtuous character to active rule. Like Prospero, [7] Edgar returns from his divestment to wear the clothing of his true appearance in the end. Edgar develops through the play from a gullible but true son through a series of disguises He takes on the appearance first of a Bedlam beggar, then ascends to the peasant’s clothes in which he leads his father, to the guise of a sailor or seaman who convinces Gloucester that the madman was a fiend. In this guise he slays Oswald, From here he changes clothing again to the knight who appears armed and defeats Edmund. Having completed the recovery of his position as heir to the earldom, he publicly reveals himself as Edgar. From here he ascends again,as he is invited by Albany to share in the ruling of the “gored state” of Britain. He may come to fulfill the royal nature- a perfection of ethical virtue. [Thomas G.] West compares Edgar with King Henry V, in that these two “redeem the time- exercising kingly rule in imitation of the redemption [8]. His foresight and effectiveness indicate that he is, as Berns writes, the paradigm of virtue in the play.” [9]

The wise rule of Prospero is based on a discovery of the higher nature, especially a political knowledge of the human souls, by which for example, he separates each of the three groups on the island [10] and orchestrates the marriage of Ferdinand and Miranda. [11] It is by this higher nature- the same as that revealed in the Socratic turn, that the philosophic Duke knows how each thing would be best, and works with nature to bring this good about. By this knowledge, Prospero sends Ariel to deceive even the King of Naples intpo believing that he has lost his son as punishment for deposing the Duke of Milan It is on the basis of a similar sort of knowledge that Edgar deceives his already penitent father into believing that the gods have acted not in the punishment but in the preservation of his bodily life.

When Lear sees Edgar in the hovel, he takes the disguised appearance of natural virtue, two or three times removed, to be the thing itself. [Lawrence] Berns writes of Edgar:

The same consummate irony that led him, correctly but for the wrong reasons, to be called the “thing itself,” that is, the natural man, by Lear, may be at work also in his being called “philosopher.”

Berns, Gratuitude, Nature and Piety, p. 51

The royal character who is not a philosopher is also an image of the philosopher (Hamlet II,ii, 260-271). This principle allows for the natural prince in the plot of Lear to reflect the action of Prospero, and the highest argument regarding the most fundamental principles, taken up by the playwright himself. He represents the claim of natural merit, although unlike Edmund, Edgar never uses the word “nature.” These two appeals to nature are two fundamental understandings of self interest or the good, one in basic accord with, but the other rejecting, justice. The other rejects natural right not in the sense of the claim to rule by nature- which it has, based on power- but in the sense of the upright character and what is right among human according to nature. The connection of the character of Edgar to the Shakespearean recovery of natural right is veiled in his being the true claimant to all that Edmund attempts to usurp, both in the appeal from custom to natural virtue and in the appeal to Grace, which Goneril made for him. By being in truth what he is by custom, Edgar demonstrates the natural being which is the cause of the reflection in the custom or law. Edgar is not only a knight, but is also the godson of Lear. [13] His being the godson of Lear seems to suggest that the symbolic meaning of the ceremonial orders of the old monarchy is continued in, and possibly fulfilled by, the natural virtue of Edgar.

Like the character of Prospero in the Tempest, the character of Edgar may be autobiographical. Like Prospero, the work of Edgar is to prevent his evil brother, here the embodiment of the principle acquisition or power, from seizing rule. The response of Edgar to this potentially horrifying circumstance would be like the practical aspect of the thought of Shakespeare toward his own circumstance, or like the position of philosophy regarding the soul and the ruling opinion of the West. Contrary to the assertion of Howard White in his Copp’d Hills Toward Heaven,, the project of Shakespeare seems to aim more to oppose the principle introduced into the soul of the West by Machiavelli, than it aims to affirm a classical teaching in contrast with Christian custom or Christianity. [14] One might say that the problem of Prospero is more Antonio than Alonso, and the problem of Edgar more Edmund than Gloucester or Lear.

Unlike Prospero, Edgar does not act to effect the arrangement of royal rule, but acts only to prevent the tyranny of his brother. In this limited governance, the statesmanship of the royal nature is distinguished from the philosophic statesmanship of Prospero, which does address the fundamental orders. The work of philosophy or wisdom inn the political world, as distinct from the magic island,is not literal royal rule, but, as in the care of the American founding fathers, the prevention of tyranny.


6. Paul Cantor. Prospero’s Republic p. 241.

7. John Alvis, John Postscript.” In Shakespreare’s understanding of honor, p. 10 (443).

8. West, Thomas G. Institute colloquium on King Lear, 1986.

9 Lawrence Berns, “Gratitude, Nature and Piety in King Lear,” p. 50.

10. Allan Bloom; “Interpretive Essay” on Plato’s Republic. p. 361

11. Jaffa writes: “According to Plato, the arrangement of marriages is the central mystery of philosophic rule. The arrangement of the marriage between Ferdinand and Miranda is the culmination of the exercise by Prospero of that wisdom he has gained by making the liberal arts “all my study” (“An Interpretation of the Shakespearean Universe,” p. 281).

12. De Alvarez, The Clearing, Class 2; Berns, p. 51, note 68.

13. Alulis, “Wisdom and Fortune: The Education of the Prince in King Lear.”p. 389 note 21.

14. White, Copp’d Hills, p. 65. There is admittedly a sense in which Shakespeare as a writer is classical rather than Christian. Because of the separation of Church and state, American public life and public education cannot turn to Jerusalem in the attempt to address the erosion of the ethical foundation of self government. The secular solution consistent with American liberty might be to set American public life and education on the foundation of Athenian ethical and political philosophy. This can include Shakespeare, who, like Plato and Aristotle,can be common to all. See Bloom, Introduction to Shakespeare’s Politics, pp. 1-12.

Reading the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Revelation 6

Thinking about the four horsemen, which we failed to understand in writing on the Revelation (pp. 123-129), some advance in clarity is possible. I had determined that Hal Lindsey was on the wrong track, but did not know what to do with this section, except that it leads up to the martyrs seen under the sixth seal. But the church history sought by Erdman and others in the 7 letters rather would be more likely to fit literally here, literally after the things concerning martyrdom that do pertain to the 7 churches. The four horsemen are like the 4 horses in the dream of Zechariah (1:6-10), sent out to patrol. There is also a similarity to the four beasts that arose from the sea in the night vision of Daniel 7, seen to refer to empires over Jerusalem Each is introduced by one of the four “living beings,” the Zoa seen around the throne. The fourth is most terrible, and is specified to effect one fourth of the earth, while an extent is not specified for the first three horsemen. This extent, leading to martyrs, is about the same as the extent of twentieth century totalitarianism. The first, on a white horse goes out to conquer, and did so. This is similar to the Roman empire to 365 AD, though then I lose track of the argument. The sword could be Islam or the general wars that superseded the peace of Rome. The second and third, the red and black horses, whose riders have a sword and then a balance, are not clear. Then the fourth is pale, and his rider’s name was “Death and Hades.”

What if these were something like:





Another might be the nations scattering Jerusalem, Rome, Islam, the knights and then the Turks or the British. But we look especially to huge things like the succeeding empires over Jerusalem addressed in Daniel ( the Babylonia, Mede-Persian, Greek and Roman).effecting the church (es), in keeping with the theme, and resulting in the martyrs seen under the throne. The sixth and seventh seals then concern the completion of their number.

The Michigan Basin Supervolcano: Hypothesis

The Michigan Basin is a bowl shape underneath the mitten of Michigan. It is thought to have been formed by the successive layers being pushed downward. But we think it obvious that there was a very large super volcano, about 2 Billion years ago, along what is called the Midcontinent Rift. This crater then collapsed, to be filled in by the Cambrian and layers following. The Porcupine Mountains and the belt of copper around the Keewanaw Peninsula follow the circumference of the Basin, and these mountains are among the oldest in the world, estimated at 2 Billion years old. The three Great Lakes- Michigan Huron and Erie, are within the Basin, while the deepest lakes, Superior and Ontario, are outside the Basin along the Rift, which seems to have nearly left Canada with Europe when the continents separated throughout the following billions of years. There is a Super volcano at Yellowstone, which last erupted about 640 thousand, that is, less than ONE million years ago years ago, and it is evident from previous eruptions near Yellowstone to the West SW that the crust of the earth has moved from the shaft. What we say is that something similar obviously occurred along the Midcontinent Rift at least as long ago as the Porcupine Mountains were formed

The rings of Michigan bedrock are due to sediments deposited in each of the past geological ages. These filled in the basin, then the softer rock was scoured out by glaciers.

Here is the basin when salt was being deposited:

Here is the Midcontinent Rift:


OLD mountains! The mystery of the Michigan Basin deepens: Wikipedia The Porcupine Mountaims:


These mountains and the copper belt are in the outer layer of the basin, following the circumference, It could still be a meteor, if this disturbed the crust 2B ago…

Hypothesis: The Pocupine Mountains and Michigan copper are from the volcano that made the Michigan basin, 2 Billion years ago.


The 5 Oldest Mountain Ranges are: The Barbertown Greenstone Belt (3.6 Billion Years) Country and Origin: South Africa and Swaziland. … The Hamersley Range (3.4 Billion Years) … The Waterberg Mountains (2.7 Billion Years) … The Magaliesberg (2.3 Billion Years) … Guiana Highlands 2

Yellowstone super volcano last went off about 640,000 years ago- more recent than one million, whereas the Michigan basin volcano would be 2 Billion, just after earth was cooling and the land appearing. Similar to the Michigan Basin, Yellowstone did not leave a mountain, and we figured out with some difficulty that it was there at all.


Geologically passive? There just happens to be precambrian mountains and volcanic stuff shaped like the edge of the basin?

Wiki: “The basin appears to have subsided concurrently with sediment infilling. These sediments were found to be mainly shallow-water sediments, many of which are richly fossiliferous. The location was on a geologically passive portion of crust.”

Guess again! But here we see the subduction causing the Basin and the Porcupines may have been later than the huge eruption.

In The Lake Superior Basin’s Fiery Beginning https://www.lakesuperior.com/the-lake/natural-world/243-lake-superior-basin-fiery-beginning/, John C. Green writes:

“In our area, the oldest rocks are about 2.7 billion years old. Found mostly along Lake Superior’s Ontario shores and located in the area called the Superior Province of the Canadian Shield, these ancient rocks date from the Archean Eon.”

The volcanic and granitic rocks tell us of the building of great mountain ranges, perhaps rivaling the Alps but which have since been eroded to the nub. The rocks we see today along the lakeshore in Ontario were once miles beneath the surface, exposed after hundreds of millions of years of erosion removed the overlying rocks.”

“Instead of lava dribbling and drooling down the flanks of large volcanic mountains, imagine huge fountains of intensely glowing lava spurting up from fissures that extended for miles across a barren plain. So much highly fluid lava would erupt in one event that it simply spread out, in many cases for hundreds, or even thousands of square miles, to form a huge, pancake-like lava flow.”

Called a “plume,” this rising cylinder of hot mantle rock came up and spread out under the stiffer lithosphere (the crust and uppermost mantle). This plume (as illustrated on the bottom of this page) apparently centered under where Lake Superior is today and, in fact, determined where our Great Lake would eventually develop.”


Lake Superior Geology

One Geologist comments: that the location of the Michigan Basin “was on a geologically passive portion of crust. The development of the basin and the surrounding arches were likely affected by the tectonic activity of the long-term Appalachian orogeny several hundred miles to the south and east.”

The continents were all together then- New York matches up with Scotland, the lower East coast with Africa. Somewhere in there is where the 3 continents came together- around the Pillars of Hercules.

2 billion years old The Porcupine Mountains themselves arise abruptly from Lake Superior to form a 12 mile long escarpment which parallels the lakeshore for a distance of 1.5 miles. At 2 billion years old, the mountains are a section of one of the oldest mountain chains in the world.;

I’m guessing the Basin was caused by a super volcano in 2 Billion B.C. History of the Earth: March 12. Michigan Basin https://historyoftheearthcalendar.blogspot.com/2014/03/march-12-michigan-basin.html?spref=tw…

All that is required for the supervolcano hypothesis is that the huge plume Green writes of came out right under the Michigan basin, causing a circular collapse of the column.

This is when the salt was being deposited in the basin:



Grand Canyon layers:

Making North America | Uncovering Layers of the Grand Canyon | PBS  LearningMedia

These show what was going on during the depositing of each layer. The glaciers have scoured away most of the post Jurassic- so we have few dinosaur bones, though an occasional mammoth from after glacier times. Scoured away and we were repeatedly under water, since the Pennsylvanian

Ray Troll

Earth Science - CH 9 Flashcards | Quizlet

The end of the last ice age:


In some 12,000 years, it is said Niagra falls, receeding, will arrive at Lake Erie, and the lakes suddenly drain to that level. Buy lakefront property! We could sell water to Colorodo in 11 k years.

Before the continents even separated, we almost left the Canucks with Europe!


Letter on the Epidemic of Shootings in the US

Dear Representative Dingell:

Please consider the possibility that psychiatric drugs, specifically antidepressants are CAUSING the epidemic of mass shootings in our nation.

HIPAA laws prevent the gathering and therefore study of this possibility, so that if it were so we would not know. Factors similar to the Oxy-heroin scam may be occurring. A known side effect on some persons is listed on the bottles- “suicidal ideation.” Might these not also make certain bad persons randomly murderous? The instances where the victims are not known to the shooter are especially interesting. What if 90% “involved” antidepressants? Most are under the care of our “Mental health” systems, which have obviously failed in these instances.

Mass psychiatric drugging is what we are doing that is different from all other armed nations and times, in which these shootings did not occur. While I also strongly advocate any gun control measures possible- if 18% of our people need psychiatric drugs, we may want to rethink that second Amendment!- it becomes gradually clearer that our psychiatry simply does not have the knowledge that would be required to treat the soul with drugs. An example is the recent deposing of the assumption that depression is a chemical imbalance. As a lifelong student of psychology, we submit the opinion that our psychiatry is in a word profitable, but unscientific ineffective and often decisively harmful- though necessary. Nor has it been answerable to any higher judge or authority, allowing great opportunity for pharmacy companies to harvest tax dollars while doing more harm than good.

Thank You,

Your new constituent,

Mark A. McDonald, PhD (Politics)

Menexenus: Constitution of Athens

Who else would write this? It is like a blog on the occasion of the funeral oration. I would append it to my blog on Theseus. But here is a democratic republic most similar to ours- minus a Sicilian expedition!

Then as now, our government was an aristocracy or government of the best which has the approval of the many. For kings we have always had, first hereditary then elected, and authority is mostly in the hands of the people, who dispense offices and power to those who appear to be most deserving of them Neither is a man rejected from weakness or poverty or obscurity of origin, nor honored by reason of the opposite, as in other cities, but there is one principle- he who appears to be wise and good is a governor and ruler. The basis of this our government is equality of birth, for other cities are made up of all sorts and unequal conditions of men, and therefore their governments are unequal- there are tyrannies and there are oligarchies, in which the one party are slaves and the others masters. But we and our citizens are brethren, the children all of one mother, and we do not think it right to be one another’s masters or servants, but the natural equality of birth compels us to seek for natural equality, and to recognize no superiority except in the reputation of virtue and wisdom.

Plato, Menexenus (Jowett), 238c- 239a

Christmasology: The First American Christmas, 1622?

The Puritans and Quakers did not celebrate Christmas, objecting to its secularization and that December 25 was not the birth date of the Messiah anyway. The New Company which arrived on the ship Fortune were “adventurers,” and not religious pilgrims. There is no Santa Claus here yet.

On the day called Christmas day, the Governor called them out to work as was used, but most of this new company excused themselves, and said it went against their conscience to work on that day. So the Governor told them that if they made it a matter of conscience, he would spare them until they were better informed; so he led away the rest and left them But when they came home at noon from their work, he found them in the street at play, openly, some pitching the bar, and some at stool-ball and such like sport. So he went to them and took away their implements and told them that it was against his conscience that they should play while others worked. If they made the keeping of it a matter of devotion, let them keep their houses, but there should be no gaming or reveling in the streets. Since which time nothing hath been attempted that way, at least openly.

William Bradford Of Plymouth Plantation

From The American Tradition in Literature, p. 28

That Christmas is to spread the Christmas spirit through the less religious elements of the community, even and especially to children who won’t yet see the things in the gospels, is interesting in light of its non-Puritan origin or first instance on the American continent. Stool ball is a game like the English game cricket, an ancestor of baseball, and so, by divine coincidence, the first American Christmas may have included baseball.