THERE is a famous scene in Shakespeare’s King Lear where our elderly tragic hero’s horrid daughters Goneril and Regan are encouraging him to downsize.
Lear, having ruled Britain for many years, has got very used to having a splendid retinue of staff.
But now he has retired and moved out of his castle, Goneril and Regan impertinently insist he really must learn to make do with fewer servants.
“What need you five-and-twenty, ten, or five?” asks Goneril.
“What need one?” asks Regan.
This prompts the moving speech which will be familiar to anyone who has studied the play for GCSE or A-level.
“O reason not the need…” laments the hapless, put-upon Lear.
O reason not the need. Yes, indeed.
These are the words I always think of every time some horrible upstart tic from the Government tries telling our elderly that their houses are too big for them and that it’s about time they downsized to make room for the younger generation.
Read the rest in the Express.