Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.
Note to King Lear, 1.1.82-83: "Now, our joy, / Although our last and least"
As the youngest ["last"] child, Cordelia would be the least likely to inherit Lear's throne, but I don't know if that's why he calls her "least." Perhaps it's because she is the youngest or maybe she is simply small. In Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, produced about about five years before Lear, there is a notably small adult, Maria, so perhaps Shakespeare had a very small boy who could play Cordelia.
Cordelia by William Frederick Yeames
Phoebe Fox as Cordelia, Almeida Theatre, 2012
Cordelia by John Rogers Herbert