What was king lear about

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what was king lear about

King Lear by William Shakespeare

Ive read Lear many times, and, although I didnt learn much about the play this reading, I did learn a little about myself. I have always loved the play, but in the past I found its injustice and evil nigh overpowering, its victims pathetically guiltless, its perspective verging on the nihilistic. Now, though, I see goodness and grace everywhere: in Cordelias plain-spoken honesty and love for Lear, in Kent and Glosters loyalty, in Edgars bizarre attempt to heal his fathers soul through stratagem, and--perhaps most important--in the way Lear himself grows in understanding and compassion even as he grows in grief and madness.

The bad guys have their moments too: the devotion of Oswald to Goneril, Edmunds tardy but apparently sincere attempt to save Cordelia and Lears lives, and--my favorite--the heroic effort of Cornwalls servant to intervene in the blinding of Gloster by wounding the vicious master whom he has served loyally all his life.

Goodness seems to triumph here even in the midst of loss, and I no longer feel the evil to be overwhelming: I merely bow my head in thanksgiving for goodness and tremble in reverence before the mystery of life.
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King Lear - Shakespeare & Company - July 22, 2011

King Lear Synopsis

King Lear : Plot Summary The story opens in ancient Britain, where the elderly King Lear is deciding to give up his power and divide his realm amongst his three daughters, Cordelia, Regan, and Goneril. Lear's plan is to give the largest piece of his kingdom to the child who professes to love him the most, certain that his favorite daughter, Cordelia, will win the challenge. Goneril and Regan, corrupt and deceitful, lie to their father with sappy and excessive declarations of affection. Cordelia, however, refuses to engage in Lear's game, and replies simply that she loves him as a daughter should. Her lackluster retort, despite its sincerity, enrages Lear, and he disowns Cordelia completely. When Lear's dear friend, the Earl of Kent, tries to speak on Cordelia's behalf, Lear banishes him from the kingdom. Meanwhile, the King of France, present at court and overwhelmed by Cordelia's honesty and virtue, asks for her hand in marriage, despite her loss of a sizable dowry.

King Lear is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare. It tells the tale of a king who bequeaths his power and land to two of his three daughters, after they declare their love for him in an extremely fawning and obsequious manner. His third daughter gets nothing, because she will not flatter him as her sisters had done. When he feels disrespected by the two daughters who now have his wealth and power, he becomes furious to the point of madness. He eventually becomes tenderly reconciled to his third daughter, just before tragedy strikes her and then the king. Derived from the legend of Leir of Britain , a mythological pre-Roman Celtic king, the play has been widely adapted for the stage and motion pictures, with the title role coveted by many of the world's most accomplished actors. The first attribution to Shakespeare of this play, originally drafted in or at the latest with its first known performance on St.

King Lear Summary

King Lear was first printed in , Lear, King of Britain, in an attempt to avoid future strife, divides his kingdom between his three daughters. His eldest two, Regan wife of Cornwall and Gonerill wife of Albany , respond to his request for a show of love, but Cordelia is unable to, not wanting to be hypocritical.

Having reached the age of 80, the widowed King Lear calls his nobles together to announce his intention to pass on the cares and responsibility of monarchy to his three daughters, with whom he means to live on a rota basis. His eldest, Goneril, is married to the Duke of Albany and his middle child, Regan, is married to the Duke of Cornwall. At the court are the Duke of Burgundy and the King of France, both hoping to marry Lear's youngest and favourite daughter Cordelia. Before dividing his kingdom, however, Lear challenges his daughters to prove which of them loves him best. His two elder daughters play along, making passionate speeches about the depth of their love for him, but his youngest, horrified by their excesses, refuses to say anything. Her unwillingness to exaggerate her feelings enrages Lear and he banishes her forever.

King Lear divides his kingdom among the two daughters who flatter him and banishes the third one who loves him. His eldest daughters both then reject him at their homes, so Lear goes mad and wanders through a storm. His banished daughter returns with an army, but they lose the battle and Lear, all his daughters and more, die. Lear, King of Britain, enters with his court. Now that he is an old man, Lear has decided to divide his kingdom between his three daughters. The division will depend on the quality of each princess' declarations of love for her father before the court. Goneril, Duchess of Albany, and Regan, Duchess of Cornwall, both speak enthusiastically and earn their father's praise.


  1. Raymond M. says:

    The text of the First Folio of often differs markedly from the quarto text and seemingly represents a theatrical revision done by the author with some cuts designed for shortened performance.

  2. Barbara B. says:

    King Lear: Plot Summary. The story opens in ancient Britain, where the elderly King Lear is deciding to give up his power and divide his realm.

  3. Koko P. says:

    Dr russell humphreys starlight and time the man who could work miracles character analysis

  4. Exicunex says:

    Plot Summary. Lear, King of Britain, in an attempt to avoid future strife, divides his kingdom between his three daughters. His eldest two, Regan (wife of.

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