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John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

“First Servant.”


In King Lear (III:vii) there is a man who is such a minor character that Shakespeare has not given him even a name: he is merely “First Servant.”

All the characters around him – Regan, Cornwall, and Edmund – have fine long-term plans. They think they know how the story is going to end, and they are quite wrong. The servant has no such delusions. He has no notion of how the play is going to go. But he understands the present scene. He sees an abomination (the blinding of old Gloucester) taking place. He will not stand it.


His sword is out and pointed at his master’s breast in a moment: then Regan stabs him dead from behind. That is his whole part: eight lines all told. But if it were real life and not a play,  that is the part it would be best to have acted. – C.S. Lewis, “The World’s Last Night”

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