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The Core Curriculum

Tom O'Bedlam, by Charlene Kaye & the Brilliant Eyes, 2010

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Tom O'Bedlam, by Charlene Kaye & the Brilliant Eyes, 2010.

In King Lear, Edgar disguises himself as "Tom O'Bedlam," a stock character that refers to people who had been imprisoned in a London mental hospital and who then had turned to begging. Tom O'Bedlam was an immensely popular poem written around the turn of the 17th century and was eventually and often set to music. Here's a modern interpretation.