note on "bastard"

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton3 at VIRGINMEDIA.COM
Wed May 11 05:36:44 UTC 2011


Of course Joel is right.

Edmund in King Lear, for example, is pissed off for just that reason. Maybe
his outrage has a genetic component, too.


On Tue, May 10, 2011 at 8:04 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:
> At 5/10/2011 02:44 PM, victor steinbok wrote:
> >I vote for "inconsequential"--female bastards could not--or were not
> likely
> >to--inherit.
> Neither could male bastards, I believe.
> Joel


Except, of course, Edmund wouldn't have inherited in any case, as he's the
younger brother -- "three or four moonshines lag of a brother" as he says in
his soliloquy.  And he does go on to inherit (and subsequently do for daddy)
anyway, when Edgar is disinherited.  So it's all a bit muddy.

The counter-example would be (The Bastard) Faulconbridge in _King John_, a
Good Person.  Though there again, he's Good Because of Genetics, having
inherited the trait of nobility from his natural father, Richard Couer de

That said, yes, the default assumption at the time would be that all
bastards were Evil Bastards.


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