Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Apr 27, 2022

It is often said of King Lear that if an actor has the stamina to play the titular role, they don't have the age, but if they have the age, they don't have the stamina. 

With this in mind, we are taking a look at Early Modern perceptions and beliefs surrounding aging and old age, how aging and old age is represented in the text of King Lear, and how it has been portrayed on stage. 

Shakespeare Anyone? is created and produced by Kourtney Smith and Elyse Sharp.

Note: When this episode was recorded, Kourtney Smith was using the stage name "Korey Leigh Smith".

Music is "Neverending Minute" by Sounds Like Sander.

Additional sound effects from

Follow us on Instagram at @shakespeareanyonepod for updates or visit our website at

You can support the podcast at This month, Patreon patrons receive an extended version of our conversation on Gallatea with Dr. Simone Chess!

Works referenced:

Martin, Christopher. Ch. 5 Confin’d to Exhibition: King Lear through the Spectacles of Age. Constituting Old Age in Early Modern English Literature, from Queen Elizabeth to King Lear. University of Massachusetts Press, 2013 pp. 137-175. Accessed 26 Apr. 2022.

Performance by Simon Russell Beale, and Simon Lovestone, Shakespeare and Old Age: Simon Russell Beale, National Theatre, 19 Apr. 2016, Accessed 26 Apr. 2022.
Snyder, Susan. “King Lear and the Psychology of Dying.” Shakespeare Quarterly, vol. 33, no. 4, 1982, pp. 449–60, Accessed 27 Apr. 2022.