One of the most moving scenes occurs at the end of the play with King Lear and his noble daughter Cordelia. With her, he can endure prison. What looks to us as folly and even disassociation actually contains great spiritual truth.
During this prolonged period of lockdowns, quarantines and excessive and disproportionate (in my view) responses to Covid, Lear's final soliloquy is moving and inspiring.
No, no, no, no! Come, let’s away to prison.
We two alone will sing like birds i' th' cage.
When thou dost ask me blessing, I’ll kneel down
And ask of thee forgiveness. So we’ll live,
And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues
Talk of court news, and we’ll talk with them too--
Who loses and who wins, who’s in, who’s out--
And take upon ’s the mystery of things
As if we were God’s spies. And we’ll wear out
In a walled prison packs and sects of great ones
That ebb and flow by the moon.
Lear underscores the value of just one vital relationship with a loved one. And even if we are with only this one loved one, we can sing like birds in the cage.
I love the line "to take upon us the mystery of things as if we were God's spies" There is something divine in seeing hope amid suffering. It is akin to being a contemplative in action - engaged deeply in the world but not being "of" it.