(Lear and his dead daughter: Another victim of the sisterhood…)
Right, another one from the mad scientists’ front – but first, are you at all familiar with Shakespeare’s tragedy ‘King Lear’?
If not, here’s a very short summary. Lear is a king with three daughters and one (other) small problem: How to divide his kingdom when he is gone.
Well, he has one other problem, to be honest: He is a moron.
So, he summons his daughters and asks them how much they love him. The oldest two, Goneril and Regan, get with the program and they lie and flatter like the best of politicians. The youngest, Cordelia, is one of those poor saps who think the truth will set you free.
The predictable result: Lear leaves his kingdom to Gonorrhea & Reagan, while banishing his youngest daughter from his sight.
I’ll spare you the details of the whole bloody play, because, right now, I’m more interested in the topic of sisterhood.
So, now, those two oldest sisters have inherited the kingdom and they soon prove themselves to be utterly evil and depraved (like the best of politicians, indeed) and besides plotting and scheming and bringing the country to the point of all-out civil war, they also have it in for their youngest sister…
… and thanks to the evil machinations of her older sisters, Cordelia is imprisoned and hanged.
Which just goes to show how much fun having sisters can be and which also brings us back to those crazy scientists I mentioned, at the start of the column – and to the following article:
"Having a sister makes you happier and more optimistic, a new study shows, but the same is not true for having a brother. Growing up with at least one girl in the family also makes people more able to cope with their problems, according to the study. Daughters tie loved ones closer together and encourage them to communicate their emotions more effectively, the researchers believe."
Yes, Cordelia would so have agreed with that one…
Anyway, as always, the Devil seems to be in those pesky little details – and you can, just about, find some shiny bits of gold inside the researchers’ preposterous pile of dross.
‘Growing up with at least one girl in the family also makes people more able to cope with their problems’?
Yes, I dare say it does.
A bit like the right inoculation at an early age can protect you from various, even more serious plagues, later in life.
(The dangerous world of DIY…?)