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The Duke of Cornwall, created by the world’s most popular and influential playwright in history, William Shakespeare, is a complex, compelling, and controversial character brought forth to life in the pages of King Lear. In accordance to guidelines established by the University of Nebraska, the following graduate thesis will provide a basic outline of my journey through the challenges of understanding, developing, and ultimately performing the role of Cornwall in Shakespeare’s King Lear. The Duke of Cornwall was a challenging and often difficult role to embody and understand due to several factors, such as interpreting his motivations, understanding his part in context to the entire play, and finding a successful way to combine my essence as a person and a performer with a character who embodies pure malice, mayhem, and madness. I will also provide personal insight into the process that I discovered and used, mainly through trial and error, to bring the Duke of Cornwall to life on King Lear’s opening night.
Adviser: Harris Smith