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Encyclopedia > King Lear
"King Lear and the Fool in the Storm" by William Dyce (1806–1864)

King Lear is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1603 and 1606, and is considered one of his greatest works. The play is based on the legend of King Leir of Britain. It has been widely adapted for stage and screen, with the part of Lear being played by many of the world's most accomplished actors. King Lear and the Fool in the Storm by William Dyce This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... King Lear and the Fool in the Storm by William Dyce This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... A jester or fool is a specific type of clown mostly associated with the Middle Ages. ... For other uses, see Storm (disambiguation). ... King Lear and the Fool in the Storm William Dyce (September 19, 1806, Aberdeen, Scotland—February 14, 1864, London) was a distinguished Scottish artist]. Dyce began his career at the Royal Academy schools, and then traveled to Rome for the first time in 1825. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... // For historical kings who used or upon whom was bestowed (often retrospectively) the title King of the Britons, see King of the Britons. ... Leir was a legendary king of the Britons as accounted by Geoffrey of Monmouth. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...


There are two distinct versions of the play: The True Chronicle of the History of the Life and Death of King Lear and His Three Daughters, which appeared in quarto in 1608, and The Tragedy of King Lear, which appeared in the First Folio in 1623, a more theatrical version. The two texts are commonly printed in a conflated version, although many modern editors have argued that each version has its individual integrity.[1] Old book binding and cover Bookbinding is the process of physically assembling a book from a number of folded or unfolded sheets of paper or other material. ... The title page of the First Folio with the famous engraved portrait of Shakespeare by Martin Droeshout The First Folio is the name given by modern scholars to the first published collection of William Shakespeares plays; its actual title is Mr. ...


After the Restoration the play was often modified by theatre practitioners who disliked its nihilistic flavour, but since World War II it has come to be regarded as one of Shakespeare's supreme achievements. The tragedy is particularly noted for its probing observations on the nature of human suffering and kinship. For other uses, see Restoration. ... This article is about the philosophical position. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...

Contents

Sources

Cordelia's Portion by Ford Madox Brown
Cordelia's Portion by Ford Madox Brown

Shakespeare's play is based on various accounts of the semi-legendary Leir. Shakespeare's most important source is thought to be the second edition of The Chronicles of England, Scotlande, and Irelande by Raphael Holinshed, published in 1587. Holinshed himself found the story in the earlier Historia Regum Britanniae by Geoffrey of Monmouth, which was written in the 12th century. The name of Cordelia was probably taken from Geoffrey Monmouth's History of the Kings of England in which the youngest daughter was named Cordellia, published in 1590. Spenser's Cordelia also dies from hanging, as in King Lear. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The Last of England, 1855 Ford Madox Brown (April 16, 1821 – October 6, 1893) was an English painter of moral and historical subjects, notable for his distinctively graphic and often Hogarthian version of the Pre-Raphaelite style. ... Leir was a legendary king of the Britons as accounted by Geoffrey of Monmouth. ... Raphael Holinshed (died c. ... Geoffrey of Monmouth (in Welsh: Gruffudd ap Arthur or Sieffre o Fynwy) (c. ... This article is about death by hanging. ...


Other possible sources are A Mirror for Magistrates (1574), by John Higgins; The Malcontent (1604), by John Marston; The London Prodigal (1605); Arcadia (1580-1590), by Sir Philip Sidney, from which Shakespeare took the main outline of the Gloucester subplot; Montaigne's Essays, which were translated into English by John Florio in 1603; An Historical Description of Iland of Britaine, by William Harrison; Remaines Concerning Britaine, by William Camden (1606); Albion's England, by William Warner, (1589); and A Declaration of egregious Popish Impostures, by Samuel Harsnett (1603), which provided some of the language used by Edgar while he feigns madness. King Lear is also a literary variant of a common fairy tale, where a father rejects his youngest daughter on the basis of a statement of her love that does not please him.[2] Mirror for Magistrates is a collection of English poems from the Tudor period by various authors which retell the lives and the tragic ends of various historical figures. ... John Marston (October 7, 1576 - June 25, 1634) was an English poet, playwright and satirist during the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods. ... The Return of the Prodigal Son (1773) by Pompeo Batoni The Prodigal Son, also known as The Lost Son is one of the best known parables of Jesus of Nazareth. ... Philip Sidney Sir Philip Sidney (November 30, 1554 - October 17, 1586) became one of the Elizabethan Ages most prominent figures. ... Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (February 28, 1533 - September 13, 1592) was an influential French Renaissance writer, generally considered to be the inventor of the personal essay. ... Giovanni Florio (1553 – ?1625), English writer, was born in London about 1553. ... For other people of this name, see William Harrison William Harrison (1534 - 1593) was an English clergyman, one of the co-authors of Holinsheds Chronicle. ... William Camden William Camden (May 2, 1551 - November 9, 1623) was an English antiquarian and historian. ... This article is about the archaic name for Great Britain. ... William Warner, (1558? - March 9th, 1609), was an English poet, born in London about 1558. ... Samuel Harsnett (June 1561 - May 1631) was an English writer on religion and Archbishop of York from 1629. ... A fairy tale is a story, either told to children or as if told to children, concerning the adventures of mythical characters such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, giants, and others. ... The youngest son is a stock character in fairy tales, where he features as the hero. ...


The source of the subplot involving Gloucester, Edgar and Edmund is a tale in Philip Sidney's Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia, with a blind Paphlagonian king and his two sons, Leonatus and Plexitrus.[3] Philip Sidney. ... The Countess of Pembrokes Arcadia, also known simply as The Arcadia is by far Sir Philip Sidneys most ambitious work. ...


Date and text

Title page of the first quarto edition, published in 1608
Title page of the first quarto edition, published in 1608

Although a precise date of composition cannot be given, many editions of the play date King Lear between 1603 and 1606. The latest it could have been written is 1606, because the Stationers' Register notes a performance on December 26, 1606. The 1603 date originates from words in Edgar's speeches which may derive from Samuel Harsnett's Declaration of Egregious Popish Impostures (1603).[4] In his Arden edition, R.A. Foakes argues for a date of 1605-6, because one of Shakespeare's sources, The True Chronicle History of King Leir, was not published until 1605; close correspondences between that play and Shakespeare's suggest that he may have been working from a text (rather than from recollections of a performance).[5] On the contrary, Frank Kermode, in the Riverside Shakespeare, considers the publication of Leir to have been a response to performances of Shakespeare's already-written play; noting a sonnet by William Strachey that may have verbal resemblances with Lear, Kermode concludes that "1604-5 seems the best compromise".[6] Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (744x1021, 157 KB) Title page of the first edition of King Lear (1608). ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (744x1021, 157 KB) Title page of the first edition of King Lear (1608). ... First quarto is a bibliographic term, usually encountered in the study of English literature in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, especially in regard to the early printings of the plays of English Renaissance theatre. ... The Stationers Register was a journal maintained by the Stationers Company of London. ... is the 360th day of the year (361st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events January 27 - The trial of Guy Fawkes and other conspirators begins ending in their execution on January 31 May 17 - Supporters of Vasili Shusky invade the Kremlin and kill Premier Dmitri December 26 - Shakespeares King Lear performed in court Storm buries a village of St Ismails near... Samuel Harsnett (June 1561 - May 1631) was an English writer on religion and Archbishop of York from 1629. ... William Strachey (1572-1621) was an English writer and barrister, whose writings are among the primary sources for the history the English colonization of North America, and as one of the only narratives describing Powhatan society. ...


However, before Kenneth Muir set out the case for the play's indebtedness to Harsnett's 1603 text, a minority of scholars believed the play to be much older. In 1936, A.S. Cairncross argued that "the relationship of the two plays [Leir and Lear] has been inverted": Shakespeare's Lear came first and that the anonymous Leir is an imitation of it.[7] One piece of evidence for this view is that in 1594, King Leir was entered into the Stationers' Register (but never published), while in the same year a play called King Leare was recorded by Philip Henslowe as being performed at the Rose theatre.[8] However, the majority view is that these two references are simply variant spellings of the same play, King Leir.[9] In addition, Eva Turner Clark, an Oxfordian denier of Shakespeare's authorship saw numerous parallels between the play and the events of 1589-90, including the Kent banishment subplot, which she believed to parallel the 1589 banishment of Sir Francis Drake by Queen Elizabeth.[10] The question of dating is further complicated by the question of revision (see below). Philip Henslowe (c 1550 - January 6, 1616) was an Elizabethan theatrical entrepreneur. ... , The Rose was an Elizabethan theatre. ... The Oxfordian theory of Shakespearean authorship holds that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford (1550-1604), wrote the plays and poems conventionally attributed to William Shakespeare. ... The frontispiece of the First Folio (1623), the first collected edition of Shakespeares plays. ...


The modern text of King Lear derives from three sources: two quartos, published in 1608 (Q1) and 1619 (Q2) [11] respectively, and the version in the First Folio of 1623 (F1). The differences between these versions are significant. Q1 contains 285 lines not in F1; F1 contains around 100 lines not in Q1. Also, at least a thousand individual words are changed between the two texts, each text has a completely different style of punctuation, and about half the verse lines in the F1 are either printed as prose or differently divided in the Q1. The early editors, beginning with Alexander Pope, simply conflated the two texts, creating the modern version that has remained nearly universal for centuries. The conflated version is born from the presumption that Shakespeare wrote only one original manuscript, now unfortunately lost, and that the Quarto and Folio versions are distortions of that original. For other uses, see Alexander Pope (disambiguation). ...


As early as 1931, Madeleine Doran suggested that the two texts had basically different provenances, and that these differences between them were critically interesting. This argument, however, was not widely discussed until the late 1970s, when it was revived, principally by Michael Warren and Gary Taylor. Their thesis, while controversial, has gained significant acceptance. It posits, essentially, that the Quarto derives from something close to Shakespeare's foul papers, and the Folio is drawn in some way from a promptbook, prepared for production by Shakespeare's company or someone else. In short, Q1 is "authorial"; F1 is "theatrical." In criticism, the rise of "revision criticism" has been part of the pronounced trend away from mid-century formalism. The New Cambridge Shakespeare has published separate editions of Q and F; the most recent Pelican Shakespeare edition contains both the 1608 Quarto and the 1623 Folio text as well as a conflated version; the New Arden edition edited by R.A. Foakes is not the only recent edition to offer the traditional conflated text. Madeleine Doran (1905-1996) was an American literary critic and poet who taught at the University of Wisconsin. ... Foul papers is a term that refers to a authors working drafts, most often applied in the study of the plays of Shakespeare and other dramatists of English Renaissance drama. ...


Performance history

Engraving depicting Ludwig Devrient as King Lear, probably from Jean-François Ducis' production
Engraving depicting Ludwig Devrient as King Lear, probably from Jean-François Ducis' production

The first recorded performance on December 26, 1606 is the only one known with certainty from Shakespeare's era. The play was revived soon after the theatres re-opened at the start of the Restoration era, and was played in its original form as late as 1675. But the urge to adapt and change that was so liberally applied to Shakespeare's plays in that period eventually settled on Lear as on other works. Nahum Tate produced an adaptation in 1681: he gave the play a happy ending, with Edgar and Cordelia marrying, and Lear restored to kingship. The Fool is eliminated altogether, and a confidant for Cordelia - Arante - is added.[12] This was the version acted by Thomas Betterton, David Garrick, and Edmund Kean, and praised by Samuel Johnson. The play was suppressed in the late 18th and early 19th century by the British government, which disliked the dramatization of a mad monarch at a time when George III was insane[13]. The original text did not return to the London stage until William Charles Macready's production of 1838.[14] Other actors who were famous as King Lear in the nineteenth century were Samuel Phelps and Edwin Booth. Ludwig Devrient (1784-1832) was a popular German actor. ... Jean-François Ducis (August 22, 1733 - March 31, 1816), French dramatist and adapter of Shakespeare, was born at Versailles. ... is the 360th day of the year (361st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events January 27 - The trial of Guy Fawkes and other conspirators begins ending in their execution on January 31 May 17 - Supporters of Vasili Shusky invade the Kremlin and kill Premier Dmitri December 26 - Shakespeares King Lear performed in court Storm buries a village of St Ismails near... For other uses, see Restoration. ... Cover of Tates version of King Lear Nahum Tate (1652 – 1715) was an Irish Protestant poet, hymnist and lyricist, who became Poet Laureate in 1692. ... Thomas Betterton (c. ... David Garrick by Thomas Gainsborough. ... Edmund Kean (March 17, 1787 – May 15, 1833) was an English actor, regarded in his time as the greatest ever. ... For other persons named Samuel Johnson, see Samuel Johnson (disambiguation). ... George III (George William Frederick) (4 June 1738–29 January 1820) was King of Great Britain, and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until 1 January 1801, and thereafter King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death. ... William Charles Macready (March 3, 1793 - April 27, 1873), English actor, was born in London, and educated at Rugby. ... Samuel Phelps (1804-1878) was an English actor, born in Devonport. ... Edwin Booth as Hamlet. ...


The play is among the most popular of Shakespeare’s works to be staged in the 20th century. The most famous staging may be Paul Scofield's 1962 performance as Lear, directed by Peter Brook; it was voted as the greatest performance in a Shakespearean play in the history of the RSC in a 2004 opinion poll of members of the Royal Shakespeare Company [15], and immortalized on film in 1971. The longest Broadway run of King Lear was the 1968 production starring Lee J. Cobb as Lear, with Stacy Keach as Edmund, Philip Bosco as Kent, and Rene Auberjonois as the Fool. It ran for 72 performances: no other Broadway production of the play has run for as many as 50 performances. A Soviet film adaptation was done by Mosfilm in 1971, directed by Grigori Kozintsev, with black-and-white photography and a score by Shostakovich. The script is based on a translation by Boris Pasternak, and Estonian actor Jüri Järvet plays the mad king. David Paul Scofield, CH, CBE (born 21 January 1922) is a British actor who was born in Hurstpierpoint, Sussex, England. ... For the British politician, see Peter Brooke. ... William Shakespeare—born April 1564; baptised April 26, 1564; died April 23, 1616 (O.S.), May 3, 1616 (N.S.)—has a reputation as the greatest of all writers in English. ... Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is a British theatre company. ... For other uses of Broadway, see Broadway. ... Lee J. Cobb Lee J. Cobb (December 8, 1911 – February 11, 1976) was an American actor. ... Stacy Keach (born Walter Stacy Keach, Jr. ... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ... For the Swiss painter, see René Auberjonois. ... For other uses of Broadway, see Broadway. ... Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich (Russian Дмитрий Дмитриевич Шостакович) (September 25, 1906 – August 9, 1975) was a Russian composer of the Soviet period. ... Jüri Järvet (Tallinn, 18 June 1919 - 5 July 1995) was an Estonian actor. ...


Other famous actors to play King Lear in the twentieth century are:

The first great 21st century Lear may be Christopher Plummer, who became the first actor to receive a Tony Award nomination for playing King Lear in the 2004 Broadway production at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre. Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM, (IPA: ; 22 May 1907 – 11 July 1989) was an Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA and four-time Emmy winning English actor, director, and producer. ... Dame Enid Diana Elizabeth Rigg DBE (born 20 July 1938) is an English actress. ... For the singer, see Mississippi John Hurt. ... Colin Blakely (September 23, 1930 - May 7, 1987) was a British character actor. ... The exterior of the Old Vic from the corner of Baylis Road and Waterloo Road. ... broadcast Telecast (band) is a christian band from the United Kingdom ... An Emmy Award. ... The Academy Award for Best Actor is one of the awards given to people working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; nominations are made by Academy members who are actors and actresses. ... Sir Arthur John Gielgud, OM, CH (14 April 1904 – 21 May 2000), known as Sir John Gielgud, was an English theatre and film actor particularly known for his warm expressive voice, which his colleague Sir Alec Guinness likened to a silver trumpet muffled in silk. ... The Old Vic is a theatre in the Waterloo area of London. ... Dame Judith Olivia Dench, CH, DBE, FRSA, (born 9 December 1934), usually known as Dame Judi Dench, is an Academy Award, Golden Globe, Tony, three-time BAFTA, and six-time Laurence Olivier Award-winning English actress. ... Kenneth Charles Branagh (born December 10, 1960) is an Emmy Award-winning, Academy Award-nominated Northern Irish-born actor and film director. ... Sir Derek George Jacobi, CBE (IPA: ) (born 22 October 1938) is an English actor and director, knighted in 1994 for his services to the theatre. ... George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an Academy Award-winning American director, writer, actor and producer for film, stage, radio and television. ... Kinescope (IPA: ) originally referred to the cathode ray tube used in television monitors. ... This article is about the broadcast network. ... For the British politician, see Peter Brooke. ... Donald Wolfit (1902-1968) was an English actor-manager, knighted in 1957 for his services to the theatre. ... For other uses of Broadway, see Broadway. ... Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is a British theatre company. ... Sir Ian Holm Sir Ian Holm CBE (born 12 September 1931), born as Ian Holm Cuthbert, is an English actor. ... The Laurence Olivier Awards, previously known as The Society of West End Theatre Awards, were renamed in honour of British actor Laurence Olivier, Baron Olivier in 1984, having first been established in 1976. ... The Royal National Theatre from Waterloo Bridge The Royal National Theatre is a building complex and theatre company located on the South Bank in London, England immediately east of the southern end of Waterloo Bridge. ... An Emmy Award. ... James Earl Jones (born January 17, 1931) is an American Academy Award-nominated, Emmy- and Tony Award-winning actor of film and stage well known for his deep basso voice. ... New York Shakespeare Festival is the traditional name of a sequence of shows organized by the Public Theater in New York City, most often being held at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. ... Raúl Rafael Juliá y Arcelay (March 9, 1940 - October 24, 1994) was a Puerto Rican actor who lived and worked for many years in the United States. ... Paul Anthony Sorvino (born April 13, 1939 in Brooklyn, New York City) is an Italian-American character actor whose career has largely been the portrayal of authority figures, both as legal enforcer and criminal, in television, stage, and film. ... For the Swiss painter, see René Auberjonois. ... Not to be confused with Public Broadcasting Services in Malta. ... Sir Michael Hordern (October 3, 1911-May 2, 1995) was a British actor, knighted in 1983 for his services to the theatre. ... Not to be confused with Public Broadcasting Services in Malta. ... The BBC Television Shakespeare was a set of television adaptations of the plays of Shakespeare, produced by the BBC between 1978 and 1985. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Awards, recognize achievement in live American theatre and are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League [1] at an annual ceremony in New York City. ... For other uses of Broadway, see Broadway. ... The Vivian Beaumont Theater is a Broadway theatre at the Lincoln Center. ...


Other recent Lears were Stacy Keach in a production at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, and Kevin Kline in a critically reviled production at the New York Shakespeare Festival. Stacy Keach (born Walter Stacy Keach, Jr. ... Kevin Delaney Kline (born October 24, 1947) is an Academy Award- and Tony Award-winning American stage and film actor. ... New York Shakespeare Festival is the traditional name of a sequence of shows organized by the Public Theater in New York City, most often being held at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. ...


Ian McKellen (who had performed the play twice before in the roles of Edgar and the Earl of Kent, winning a Drama Desk Award for the former) was also triumphant as King Lear after opening in the play at the Courtyard Theatre at Stratford-Upon-Avon for the Royal Shakespeare Company in April 2007 before taking the production on a world tour with a cast that included Romola Garai as Cordelia, Sylvester McCoy as the Fool, Frances Barber as Goneril, Monica Dolan as Regan, William Gaunt as the Earl of Gloucester and Jonathan Hyde as the Earl of Kent. It then took up residence at the New London Theatre, Drury Lane, where it ended its run on 12 January 2008. The play was directed by Trevor Nunn and was being played alternatively with The Seagull. Sir Ian Murray McKellen, CH, CBE (born 25 May 1939) is an English stage and screen actor, the recipient of the Tony Award and two Oscar nominations. ... Created in 1955, the Drama Desk Award was created to recognize Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway shows in addition to Broadway shows. ... Stratford-upon-Avon Stratford-upon-Avon is a town in Warwickshire, England. ... Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is a British theatre company. ... Romola Garai. ... Sylvester McCoy (born Percy James Patrick Kent-Smith August 20, 1943) is a Scottish actor. ... Frances Barber (born on 13 May 1958 in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England) is a British actress. ... Appeared in 1963/64/65 series SGT CORK as DC Bob Marriat made 60 1hr episodes with John Barrie who stared as Sgt Cork Alexandra Bastedo, Stuart Damon and William Gaunt in The Champions. ... Jonathan Hyde (born May 21, 1947) is an Australian-born English stage actor. ... The New London Theatre is a theatre located on the corners of Drury Lane and Parker Street in the Covent Garden area of London. ... Drury Lane is a street in the Covent Garden area of London, running between Aldwych and High Holborn. ... is the 12th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common Era (or Anno Domini), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... Sir Trevor King (born 14 January 1940) is a loser and film director. ... Chekhov in an 1898 portrait by Osip Braz. ...


Characters

Charles H. Cameron as King Lear (1872) / print by A.L. Coburn
Charles H. Cameron as King Lear (1872) / print by A.L. Coburn
  • King Lear is ruler of Britain. He is a patriarchal figure whose misjudgment of his daughters brings about his downfall.
  • Goneril (sometimes written Gonerill) is Lear's treacherous eldest daughter and wife to the Duke of Albany.
  • Regan is Lear's treacherous second daughter, and wife to the Duke of Cornwall.
  • Cordelia (poss. "heart of a lion" [16]) is Lear's youngest daughter and personifies truth. At the beginning of the play, she has yet to marry and has two suitors: the Duke of Burgundy and the King of France.
  • The Duke of Albany[17] is Goneril's husband. Goneril scorns him for his "milky gentleness". He turns against his wife later in the play.
  • The Duke of Cornwall[17] is Regan's husband. He has the Earl of Kent put in the stocks, leaves Lear out on the heath during a storm, and gouges out Gloucester's eyes. After his attack on Gloucester, one of his servants attacks and mortally wounds him.
  • The Earl of Gloucester[17] is Edgar's father, and the father of the illegitimate son, Edmund. Edmund deceives him against Edgar, and Edgar flees, taking on the disguise of Tom O'Bedlam.
  • The Earl of Kent[17] is always faithful to Lear, but he is banished by the king after he protests against Lear's treatment of Cordelia. He takes on a disguise (Caius) and serves the king without letting him know his true identity.
  • Edmund (sometimes written Edmond) is Gloucester's illegitimate son. He works with Goneril and Regan to further his ambitions, and the three of them form a romantic triangle.
  • Edgar is the legitimate son of the Earl of Gloucester. Disguised as Tom O'Bedlam, he helps his blind father. At the end of the play he assumes rule of the kingdom and the 'Divine Right of Kings' is restored.
  • Oswald is Goneril's servant, and is described as "a serviceable villain". He tries to murder Gloucester, but instead he is killed by Edgar.
  • The Fool is a jester who is devoted to Lear and Cordelia, although his relationships with both are quite complex. Although he misses Cordelia when she is gone, we never see the two together. He has a privileged relationship with Lear; no one else would get away with taunting him the way the Fool does, through riddles and insults. When Lear begins to consider the feelings of others and the effects of his actions, he first thinks to help the Fool.

Image File history File links M196700880006. ... Image File history File links M196700880006. ... Leir was a legendary king of the Britons as accounted by Geoffrey of Monmouth. ... English family c. ... Duke of Albany is a peerage title that has occasionally been bestowed on the youngers sons in the Scottish and later the British Royal Family, particularly in the Houses of Stuart and Hanover. ... The Dukedom of Cornwall was the first dukedom created in the peerage of England. ... Cross of Burgundy Flag The Duchy of Burgundy, today Bourgogne, has its origin in the small portion of traditional lands of Burgundians west of river Saône which in 843 was allotted to Charles the Balds kingdom of West Franks. ... Kings ruled in France from the Middle Ages to 1848. ... The peerage title Earl of Kent has been created many times in the Peerage of England and once in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. ... For other uses, see stock (disambiguation). ... Heaths are anthropogenic habitats found primarily in northern and western Europe, where they have been created by thousands of years of human clearance of natural forest vegetation by grazing and burning on mainly infertile acidic soils. ... Tom o Bedlam is the name of a poem written c. ... Exile (band) may refer to: Exile - The American country music band Exile - The Japanese pop music band Category: ... Edmund or Edmond is an antagonist in Shakespeares King Lear. ... Tom o Bedlam is the name of a poem written c. ... A jester or fool is a specific type of clown mostly associated with the Middle Ages. ...

Synopsis

King Lear: Cordelia's Farewell by Edwin Austin Abbey
King Lear: Cordelia's Farewell by Edwin Austin Abbey

The play begins with King Lear making the decision to abdicate the throne and divide his kingdom among his three daughters: Goneril, Regan and Cordelia. The eldest two are already married, while Cordelia is much sought after as a bride, partly because she is her father's favourite. It is announced that each daughter shall be accorded lands according to how much she demonstrates her love for him in speech. To his surprise Cordelia refuses to outdo the flattery of her elder sisters, as she cannot be compelled to describe her love with dishonest hyperbole. Lear, in a fit of pique, divides her share of the kingdom between Goneril and Regan, and Cordelia is disowned. The King of France however marries her, even after she has been disinherited. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1000x455, 340 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): King Lear Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1000x455, 340 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): King Lear Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to... Edwin Austin Abbey, drawn by John Singer Sargent in 1888 Edwin Austin Abbey (April 1, 1852 – August 1, 1911) was an American artist, illustrator, and painter. ... For the documentary series, see Monarchy (TV series). ... Kings ruled in France from the Middle Ages to 1848. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


Soon after Lear abdicates the throne, he finds that Goneril and Regan's feelings for him have turned cold, and arguments ensue. The Earl of Kent, who has spoken up for Cordelia and been banished for his pains, returns disguised as the servant Caius, who will "eat no fish" (that is to say, he is a Protestant), in order to protect the king, to whom he remains loyal. When Lear's daughters refuse to house his rowdy escort of knights, he rejects their suggestion of firing the knights and is turned out into the stormy darkness, along with his Fool. Meanwhile, Goneril and Regan fall out with one another over their attraction to Edmund, the bastard son of the Earl of Gloucester—and are forced to deal with an army from France, led by Cordelia, sent to restore Lear to his throne. A cataclysmic war is fought. The peerage title Earl of Kent has been created many times in the Peerage of England and once in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. ... Good Friday, also called Holy Friday or Great Friday, is the Friday preceding Easter Sunday. ... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... The title of Earl of Gloucester was created several times in the Peerage of England. ...


Meanwhile, there is the Earl of Gloucester and his two sons, Edgar and Edmund. Edmund concocts false stories about his legitimate half-brother, and Edgar is forced into exile, affecting lunacy. Edmund engages in liaisons with Goneril and Regan. Gloucester is confronted by Regan's husband, the Duke of Cornwall, but is saved from death by several of Cornwall's servants, who object to the duke's treatment of Lear; one of the servants wounds the duke (but is killed by Regan), who plucks out Gloucester's eyes and throws him into the storm telling him to, "smell his way to Dover". Cornwall dies of his wound shortly thereafter. , Dover is a major channel port in the English county of Kent. ...


Edgar, still under the guise of a homeless lunatic, finds Gloucester out in the storm. The earl asks him whether he knows the way to Dover, to which Edgar replies that he will lead him. Edgar, whose voice Gloucester fails to recognise, is shaken by encountering his blinded father and his guise is put to the test.

Lear and Cordelia by Ford Madox Brown
Lear and Cordelia by Ford Madox Brown

Lear appears in Dover, wandering and raving. Gloucester attempts to throw himself from a cliff, but is deceived by Edgar in order to save him and comes off safely, encountering the king shortly after. Lear and Cordelia are briefly reunited and reconciled before the battle between Britain and France. After the French lose, Lear is content at the thought of living in prison with Cordelia, but Edmund gives orders for them to be executed. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The Last of England, 1855 Ford Madox Brown (April 16, 1821 – October 6, 1893) was an English painter of moral and historical subjects, notable for his distinctively graphic and often Hogarthian version of the Pre-Raphaelite style. ... Execution is a synonym for the actioning of something, of putting something into effect. ...


Edgar, in disguise, then fights Edmund, fatally wounding him. On seeing this, Goneril, who has already poisoned Regan out of jealousy, kills herself. Edgar reveals himself to Edmund and tells him that Gloucester has just died. On hearing this, and of Goneril and Regan's deaths, Edmund tells Edgar of his order to have Lear and Cordelia murdered and gives orders for them to be reprieved.


Unfortunately, the reprieve comes too late. Lear appears on stage with Cordelia's dead body in his arms, having killed the servant who hanged her, then dies himself.


Changes from Source Material

Besides the subplot involving the Earl of Gloucester and his sons, the principal innovation Shakespeare made to this story was the death of Cordelia and Lear at the end. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, this tragic ending was much criticised, and alternative versions were written and performed, in which the leading characters survived and Edgar and Cordelia were married. (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Points of debate

Opening

Goneril and Regan by Edwin Austin Abbey
Goneril and Regan by Edwin Austin Abbey

Scene one features a ceremony in which King Lear bequeaths his kingdom to his daughters. The plain sense of the opening is that this is an auction giving his kingdom to the most admiring and flattering of his daughters, taking the form of a 'love test'. It cannot however be taken as an auction from the order of events. In an auction all bids are called and the lot goes to the highest bidder. Lear hears only one of his daughters' "bids" of love before awarding her "lot". If this were an auction or test, it would make most sense for Lear to hear out all three daughters before starting to divide the kingdom. David Ball posits an alternate interpretation.[18] He bases this analysis on the conversation between Kent and Gloucester which are the first seven lines of the play and serve to help the audience understand the context of the drama about to unfold. Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Edwin Austin Abbey, drawn by John Singer Sargent in 1888 Edwin Austin Abbey (April 1, 1852 – August 1, 1911) was an American artist, illustrator, and painter. ... Lear can refer to any of the following: Shakespeares play King Lear Author and artist Edward Lear Television writer and producer Norman Lear Engineer, businessman and inventor Bill Lear The Lear jet This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the... An auctioneer and her assistants scan the crowd for bidders An auction is a process of buying and selling goods by offering them up for bid, taking bids, and then selling the item to the winning bidder. ...

Kent: I thought the King had more affected the Duke of Albany than Cornwall.

Gloucester: It did always seem so to us, but now in the division of the kingdom it appears not which of the Dukes he values most, for equalities are so weighed that curiosity in neither can make choice of either's moiety.

—King Lear, Act I, Scene I

Ball interprets this statement to mean that the court already knows how the King is going to divide his kingdom; that the outcome of the ceremony is already decided and publicly known. If the court knows that the outcome of the contest is not going to change, then they must also be aware that it is only a formality, or in Ball's words "a public relations stunt."[19]


There are only two clues from the text on how balanced the king's division of the kingdom that the audience needs to take into account for understanding the nature of this ceremony. The first is the above quoted section where Gloucester describes the shares as equal. The second is in Lear's description that while Regan's portion of the kingdom is "No less in space, validity, and pleasure/Than that conferred on Goneril." (Act I/Scene 1) but for Cordelia's "more opulent than [her] sisters" (Act I/Scene 1). There is a contradiction in how the court views the coming action and how the king presents it.


Alternatively, it has been suggested that the King's "contest" has more to do with his control over the unmarried Cordelia.[20] On receiving her proclamations of devout love and loyalty, he plans to force her into a marriage which she could not possibly object to after claiming such stolid obedience. Of course, the trap fails disastrously for all parties. It is not clear whether or not Shakespeare intended his audience to be aware of this subtext, or whether he assumed the details of the situation were not relevant. Subtext is content of a book, play, film or television series which is not announced explicitly by the characters (or author) but is implicit or becomes something understood by the reader / viewer as the production unfolds. ...


Tragic ending

King Lear mourns Cordelia's death, James Barry, 1786-1788
King Lear mourns Cordelia's death, James Barry, 1786-1788

The adaptations that Shakespeare made to the legend of King Lear to produce his tragic version are quite telling of the effect they would have had on his contemporary audience. The story of King Lear (or Leir) was familiar to the average Early Modern theatre goer (as were many of Shakespeare's sources) and any discrepancies between versions would have been immediately apparent. Download high resolution version (2024x1464, 224 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (2024x1464, 224 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... James Barry (1741-1806), Irish-English painter, best remembered for his six part series of paintings entitled The Progress of Human Culture. ... For other uses, see Adaptation (disambiguation). ... King Leir is an anonymous Elizabethan play published in 1605 but believed to have been written before 1594. ... English Renaissance theatre is a English drama written between the Reformation and the closure of the theatres in 1642. ...


Shakespeare's tragic conclusion gains its sting from such a discrepancy. The traditional legend and all adaptations preceding Shakespeare's have it that after Lear is restored to the throne, he remains there until "made ripe for death" (Edmund Spenser). Cordelia, her sisters also dead, takes the throne as rightful heir, but after a few years is overthrown and imprisoned by nephews, leading to her suicide. For other uses, see Adaptation (disambiguation). ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Suicide (disambiguation). ...


Shakespeare shocks his audience by bringing the worn and haggard Lear onto the stage, carrying his dead youngest daughter. He taunts them with the possibility that she may live yet with Lear saying, "This feather stirs; she lives!" But Cordelia's death is soon confirmed.


This was indeed too bleak for some to take, even many years later. King Lear was at first unsuccessful on the Restoration stage, and it was only with Nahum Tate's happy-ending version of 1681 that it became part of the repertory. Tate's Lear, where Lear survives and triumphs, and Edgar and Cordelia get married, held the stage until 1838. Samuel Johnson endorsed the use of Tate's version in his edition of Shakespeare's plays (1765): "Cordelia, from the time of Tate, has always retired with victory and felicity. And, if my sensations could add anything to the general suffrage, I might relate that I was many years ago so shocked by Cordelia's death, that I know not whether I ever endured to read again the last scenes of the play till I undertook to revise them as an editor". For other uses, see Restoration. ... Cover of Tates version of King Lear Nahum Tate (1652 – 1715) was an Irish Protestant poet, hymnist and lyricist, who became Poet Laureate in 1692. ... For other persons named Samuel Johnson, see Samuel Johnson (disambiguation). ...


Cordelia and the Fool

The character of Lear's Fool, important in the first act, disappears without explanation in the third. He appears in Act I, scene four, and disappears in Act III, scene six. His final line is "And I'll go to bed at noon", a line that many think might mean that he is to die at the highest point of his life, when he lies in prison separated from his friends. In theater, an act (noun) is a short performance that is part of a longer program. ...


A popular explanation for the Fool's disappearance is that the actor playing the Fool also played Cordelia. The two characters are never on stage simultaneously, and dual-roling was common in Shakespeare's time. However, the Fool would have been performed by Robert Armin, the regular clown actor of Shakespeare's company, who is unlikely to have been cast as a tragic heroine. Even so, the play does ask us to at least compare the two; Lear chides Cordelia for foolishness in Act I; chides himself as equal in folly in Act V; and as he holds the dead Cordelia in the final scene, says "And my poor fool is hanged" ("fool" could be taken as either a direct reference to the Fool, or an affectionate reference to Cordelia herself, or it could refer to both the fool and Cordelia). Actors in period costume sharing a joke whilst waiting between takes during location filming. ... Elizabethan theatre is a general term covering the plays written and performed publicly in England during the reign (1558 - 1603) of Queen Elizabeth I. The term can be used more broadly to also include theatre of Elizabeths immediate successors, James I and Charles I, until the closure of public... Title page of Armins The History of the two Maids of More-Clacke, 1609. ...


In Elizabethan English, "fool" was a term used to mean "child" (cf. foal). For example, in Hamlet, Polonius warns Ophelia that if she does not keep her distance from Hamlet, she'll "tender me a fool," i.e. present him with a child. As Lear holds the dead body of Cordelia, he remembers holding her in his arms as a baby. For other uses, see Hamlet (disambiguation). ...


Adaptations and cultural references

  • Portions of a radio performance of the play on BBC Radio 3 in the UK were used by John Lennon in The Beatles' song "I Am the Walrus", starting at about the halfway point, but most audible towards the end and during the long fadeout. Lennon added the BBC audio (live as it was being broadcast) on a whim during mixing of the track. The character Oswald's exhortation, "bury my body", as well as his lament, "O, untimely death!" (Act IV, Scene VI) were interpreted by fans as further pieces of evidence that band member Paul McCartney was dead.
  • A lake in Watermead Country Park, between Birstall and Thurmaston, Leicester is named King Lear's Lake, owing to its proximity of the legendary burial tomb of King Leir. A statue in the lake depicts the final scene of Shakespeare's play.

BBC Radio 3 is a radio station operated by the BBC within the United Kingdom. ... John Winston Ono Lennon, MBE (October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980), (born John Winston Lennon, known as John Ono Lennon) was an iconic English 20th century rock and roll songwriter and singer, best known as the founding member of The Beatles. ... The White Album, see The Beatles (album). ... Music sample I Am the Walrus Problems? See media help. ... Paul McCartney Dead: The Great Hoax, a magazine reporting on the rumours concerning McCartney. ... Watermead country park The Watermead Country Park is a network of artificial lakes in the valley of the River Soar and the Grand Union Canal (old), to the north of Leicester, in Leicestershire. ... // General information Birstall is a large village, north of Leicester, within the Leicestershire county, in the East Midlands or England. ... Thurmaston is a village in the north of Leicestershire in the United Kingdom. ... This article discusses Leicester in England. ... King Leir is an anonymous Elizabethan play published in 1605 but believed to have been written before 1594. ...

Adaptations

Wikisource has original text related to this article:

A number of significant and diverse readings have emerged from eras and societies since the play was first written; evidence of the ability of Shakespeare to encompass many human experiences. The play was poorly received in the 17th century because the theme of fallen royalty was too close to the events of the period; the exile of the court to France. In 1681 Nahum Tate rewrote King Lear to suit a 17th century audience: Tate's History of King Lear changed Shakespeare's tragedy into a love story with a happy ending. The plot is rewritten, though much of Shakespeare's text retained: the King of France and the Fool are omitted; Edgar saves Cordelia from ruffians on the heath; Lear defeats the assassins sent to the dungeon to kill him and Cordelia, and Edgar and Cordelia are betrothed in a final scene, where Edmund declares that "Truth and Virtue shall at last succeed."[21] Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... The original Wikisource logo. ... Cover of Tates version of King Lear Nahum Tate (1652 – 1715) was an Irish Protestant poet, hymnist and lyricist, who became Poet Laureate in 1692. ...


As society and time changed to take more notice of pain and suffering, especially in the nineteenth century, Shakespeare's tragic ending was reinstalled, first, briefly, by Edmund Kean in 1823, then by William Charles Macready in 1834. Macready removed all traces of Tate in an abridged version of Shakespeare's text in 1838, and Samuel Phelps restored the complete Shakespearean version in 1845. Edmund Kean (March 17, 1787 – May 15, 1833) was an English actor, regarded in his time as the greatest ever. ... William Charles Macready (March 3, 1793 - April 27, 1873), English actor, was born in London, and educated at Rugby. ... Samuel Phelps (1804-1878) was an English actor, born in Devonport. ...


The only recent production of Nahum Tate's seventeenth century version of the play, History of King Lear, was staged by the Riverside Shakespeare Company in 1985, directed by W. Stuart McDowell, at The Shakespeare Center in New York City.[22] Cover of Tates version of King Lear Nahum Tate (1652 – 1715) was an Irish Protestant poet, hymnist and lyricist, who became Poet Laureate in 1692. ... // The Riverside Shakespeare Company of New York City was founded in 1977 as an Equity theatre company on the Upper West Side of New York City, by W. Stuart McDowell and Gloria Skurski. ...


Critical Analysis

The twentieth century saw a number of diverse and rich readings of the play emerge as a result of the turbulent social changes of the century. A.C. Bradley saw this play as an individual coming to terms with his personality; that Lear was a great man and therefore the play is almost unfathomable. A feminist reading of the play reveals a number of Lear's misogynist remarks and has fueled the debate over whether the play's chaos occurred because power was given over to women, with order restored only when men were returned to their leadership roles.[citation needed] Andrew Cecil Bradley (1851 - 1935) was an English literary scholar. ...


The Family Drama reading has also become prevalent in the 20th century. King Lear can be read as being about the dynamics in the relationship between parent and children.[23] Key issues include the relationship between Lear and Goneril/Regan, between Lear and Cordelia and the relationship between Gloucester and his sons.


The play has been interpreted by many societies. "Communist" Russia emphasised the suffering of the common people and the oppressive nature of the monarch in Korol Lear (1970).


Lear's suffering as a form of purgatory, within a shifting religious landscape in contemporary England, has also been put forward and has been extended onto other Shakespeare dramas like Hamlet.[24] Illustration for Dantes Purgatorio (18), by Gustave Doré, an imaginative picturing of Purgatory. ... For other uses, see Hamlet (disambiguation). ...


Reworkings

Since the 1950s, there have been various "reworkings" of King Lear. These include:

A Thousand Acres is a 1991 award winning novel by American author Jane Smiley. ... Jane Smiley (born September 26, 1949) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist. ... Lear is a play in Three Acts by Edward Bond, an epic rewrite of Shakespeares King Lear. ... Edward Bond (born July 18, 1934) is an English playwright, theatre director, theorist and screenwriter. ... The King Is Alive (2000) is the fourth film to be done according to the Dogme 95 rules. ... Kristian Levring was born in 1957 in Denmark. ... Ran chaos, war, revolt) is an Oscar-winning 1985 film written and directed by Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa. ... Kurosawa redirects here. ... “Sengoku” redirects here. ...

Film adaptations

Frederick Warde was a Shakesperian actor who moved from England to the United States in the late 1800s. ... Jacob Gordin, circa 1895 Jacob Michailovitch Gordin (May 1, 1853–June 11, 1909), was a Ukrainian-born Russian Jewish playwright active in the early years of Yiddish theater. ... Grigori Mikhailovich Kozintsev (Russian: ; Kiev, 22 March (O.S. 9 March) 1905 – Leningrad, now Saint Petersburg, 11 May 1973) was a Soviet Russian film director. ... Jüri Järvet (Tallinn, 18 June 1919 - 5 July 1995) was an Estonian actor. ... For the British politician, see Peter Brooke. ... David Paul Scofield, CH, CBE (born 21 January 1922) is a British actor who was born in Hurstpierpoint, Sussex, England. ... Alan Webb (2 July 1906-22 June 1982) was a veteran English stage and film actor. ... Irene Worth, Honorary CBE, (b. ... Susan Engel (born 25 March 1935 in Vienna, Austria) is a British actress. ... Jack MacGowran Jack MacGowran, (October 13, 1918 - January 31, 1973) was an Irish-born character actor. ... Thames Television was a franchise holder of the British ITV television network, serving London on weekdays between 1968 and 1992. ... Patrick Magee (31 March 1922 – 14 August 1982) was a Tony Award winning Irish actor best known for his collaborations with Samuel Beckett and his role as the victimised writer Mr. ... This article is about the British physician, theatre and opera director, and television presenter; for other people named Jonathan Miller, see Jonathan Miller (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see BBC (disambiguation). ... Sir Michael Hordern (October 3, 1911-May 2, 1995) was a British actor, knighted in 1983 for his services to the theatre. ... This article is about the British physician, theatre and opera director, and television presenter; for other people named Jonathan Miller, see Jonathan Miller (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see BBC (disambiguation). ... Sir Michael Hordern (October 3, 1911-May 2, 1995) was a British actor, knighted in 1983 for his services to the theatre. ... The BBC Television Shakespeare was a set of television adaptations of the plays of Shakespeare, produced by the BBC between 1978 and 1985. ... Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM, (IPA: ; 22 May 1907 – 11 July 1989) was an Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA and four-time Emmy winning English actor, director, and producer. ... Dame Dorothy Tutin Order of the British Empire|DBE (8 April 1930–6 August 2001), was a highly-regarded English actress of stage, film, and television. ... Dame Enid Diana Elizabeth Rigg DBE (born 20 July 1938) is an English actress. ... For the singer, see Mississippi John Hurt. ... A jester or fool is a specific type of clown mostly associated with the Middle Ages. ... Colin Blakely (September 23, 1930 - May 7, 1987) was a British character actor. ... Image:Number Two. ... For other persons of the same name, see Robert Lindsay. ... An Emmy Award. ... Ran chaos, war, revolt) is an Oscar-winning 1985 film written and directed by Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa. ... Kurosawa redirects here. ... King Lear is a 1987 film directed by Jean-Luc Godard. ... Jean-Luc Godard (French IPA: ) (born 3 December 1930) is a French filmmaker and one of the most influential members of the Nouvelle Vague, or French New Wave. Born to Franco-Swiss parents in Paris, he was educated in Nyon, Switzerland, later studying at the Lycée Rohmer, and the... Jane Smiley (born September 26, 1949) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist. ... Jocelyn Denise Moorhouse was born in Victoria, Australia on September 4, 1960. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Jennifer Jason Leigh (born February 5, 1962) is an American actress who has appeared in numerous films. ... Jessica Phyllis Lange (born April 20, 1949) is a two-time Academy Award-winning American actress. ... -1... Colin Andrew Firth (born 10 September 1960) is an English film, television and stage actor, probably best known for his role as Mr. ... Sir Richard Eyre, (born 28 March 1943), is a British film and theatre director. ... Sir Ian Holm Sir Ian Holm CBE (born 12 September 1931), born as Ian Holm Cuthbert, is an English actor. ... For other uses, see BBC (disambiguation). ... Not to be confused with Public Broadcasting Services in Malta. ... Brian Blessed at Cambridge Film Festival 2007 Brian Blessed (or, in the tradition of English poetry, Blessèd; pronounced //) (born 9 October 1937 in Mexborough, near Doncaster) is an English actor, who came to fame as PC Fancy Smith in the BBC TV police drama series Z Cars. ... Richard Harris as Marcus Aurelius in Gladiator. ... Lynn Rachel Redgrave OBE (born 8 March 1943 in London) is an English actress born into the famous acting Redgrave family. ... This article is about the actor. ... King of Texas is a 2002 made-for-TV film starring Patrick Stewart. ... Uli Edel (born April 11, 1947 in Neuenburg, Germany), German film director. ... Brad Neely is a comic book artist from Fort Smith, Arkansas who now resides in Austin, Texas. ... The Cannes Film Festival (French: le Festival de Cannes), founded in 1939, is one of the worlds oldest, most influential and prestigious film festivals. ... A separate article is about composer Antony Hopkins. ... Keira Christina Knightley (pronounced ;[1] born 26 March 1985) is a Golden Globe-, BAFTA- and Academy Award-nominated English[2] film and television actress. ... Gwyneth Kate Paltrow (born September 27, 1972)[1] is an Academy Award-, Golden Globe- and two-time Screen Actors Guild Award-winning American actress. ...

Notable performers as King Lear

Richard Briers, CBE (born on January 14, 1934) is a popular English actor whose career encompasses the theatre, television, film and radio. ... Emma Thompson (born 15 April 1959) is an Emmy-, BAFTA- and Academy Award-winning English actress, comedian, and screenwriter. ... Unknown artist: Portrait of Richard Burbage, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London Richard Burbage (July 7, 1568 – March 13, 1619) was an actor and theatre owner. ... This article is about the actor. ... Sir Michael John Gambon, KBE (born October 19, 1940), is an acclaimed Irish-British actor who has worked in television, film and theatre. ... Sir Antony Sher KBE (born 14 June 1949) is an actor, novelist and painter. ... Sir Arthur John Gielgud, OM, CH (14 April 1904 – 21 May 2000), known as Sir John Gielgud, was an English theatre and film actor particularly known for his warm expressive voice, which his colleague Sir Alec Guinness likened to a silver trumpet muffled in silk. ... Sir Ian Holm Sir Ian Holm CBE (born 12 September 1931), born as Ian Holm Cuthbert, is an English actor. ... For the composer, see Antony Hopkins. ... Sir Michael Hordern (October 3, 1911-May 2, 1995) was a British actor, knighted in 1983 for his services to the theatre. ... William Ian DeWitt Hutt, CC , O.Ont , MM , BA , DFA , D.Litt (born May 2, 1920) is a Canadian actor of stage and film. ... James Earl Jones (born January 17, 1931) is an American Academy Award-nominated, Emmy- and Tony Award-winning actor of film and stage well known for his deep basso voice. ... Stacy Keach (born June 2, 1941) is an American actor and narrator. ... Kevin Delaney Kline (born October 24, 1947) is an Academy Award- and Tony Award-winning American stage and film actor. ... Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM, (IPA: ; 22 May 1907 – 11 July 1989) was an Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA and four-time Emmy winning English actor, director, and producer. ... Sir Alec Guinness CH, CBE (2 April 1914 – 5 August 2000) was an Academy Award and Tony Award-winning English actor. ... For the singer, see Mississippi John Hurt. ... Samuel Phelps (1804-1878) was an English actor, born in Devonport. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... David Paul Scofield, CH, CBE (born 21 January 1922) is a British actor who was born in Hurstpierpoint, Sussex, England. ... This article is about is about the English actor. ... George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an Academy Award-winning American director, writer, actor and producer for film, stage, radio and television. ... Donald Wolfit (1902-1968) was an English actor-manager, knighted in 1957 for his services to the theatre. ... Sir Ian Murray McKellen, CH, CBE (born 25 May 1939) is an English stage and screen actor, the recipient of the Tony Award and two Oscar nominations. ... Japanese leading actor Tatsuya Nakadai (仲代達矢 Nakadai Tatsuya) became a star after he was discovered working as a shop clerk by filmmaker Masaki Kobayashi during the 1950s. ... Kurosawa redirects here. ... Ran chaos, war, revolt) is an Oscar-winning 1985 film written and directed by Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa. ...

See also

  • Illegitimacy in fiction

References

  1. ^ Taylor, Gary and Michael Warren, ed. The Division of the Kingdoms: Shakespeare’s Two Versions of King Lear. New York: Oxford University Press, 1983
  2. ^ Soula Mitakidou and Anthony L. Manna, with Melpomeni Kanatsouli, Folktales from Greece: A Treasury of Delights, p 100 ISBN 1-56308-908-4; see also D. L. Ashliman, "Love Like Salt: folktales of types 923 and 510"
  3. ^ The Role of Edmund in King Lear
  4. ^ Frank Kermode, 'King Lear', The Riverside Shakespeare (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1974), 1249.
  5. ^ R.A. Foakes, ed. King Lear. London: Arden, 1997), 89-90.
  6. ^ Kermode, Riverside, 1250.
  7. ^ Alfred S. Cairncross, The Problem of Hamlet, A Solution, 1936
  8. ^ Chambers & Alexander, as sourced in Ogburn's The Mystery of William Shakespeare, 1984, page 337
  9. ^ Lee, Sidney. The Chronicle History of King Leir. London: Chatto and Windus, 1908: ix.
  10. ^ Eva Turner Clark, Hidden Allusions in Shakespeares Plays, 1930,pgs 866-888
  11. ^ The 1619 quarto is part of William Jaggard's so-called False Folio.
  12. ^ The History of King King Lear Adapted by Nahum Tate after William Shakespeare, Edited by Jack Lynch, (Rutgers University, Newark), Act III, line 140. Tate's King Lear, 1749 edition: online text.
  13. ^ Shakespeare A to Z by Charles Boyce, Dell Publishing, 1990
  14. ^ F. E. Halliday, A Shakespeare Companion 1564–1964, Baltimore, Penguin, 1964; pp. 265-66.
  15. ^ Scofield's Lear voted the greatest Shakespeare performance, The Telegraph, 22nd August 2004[1]
  16. ^ While it has been claimed that "Cordelia" derives from the Latin "cor" (heart) followed by "delia", an anagram of "ideal", this is questionable. A more likely etymology is that her name is a feminine form of coeur de lion, meaning "lion-hearted". Another possible source is a Welsh word of uncertain meaning; it may mean "jewel of the sea" or "lady of the sea".
  17. ^ a b c d These titles are anachronistic. The first use of the title of Duke of Albany occurred in 1398. The first use of the title of Duke of Cornwall took place about 1140. The first use of the title of Earl of Gloucester took place in 1122. The first use of the title Earl of Kent was in 1067.
  18. ^ Ball, David; (1983). Backwards & Forwards. Illinois: Southern Illinois University Press. ISBN 0-8093-1110-0
  19. ^ Ball, David; (1983). Backwards & Forwards. Illinois: Southern Illinois University Press. ISBN 0-8093-1110-0
  20. ^ McLaughlin, John. "The Dynamics of Power in King Lear: An Adlerian Interpretation." Shakespeare Quarterly 29 (1978): 39.
  21. ^ Nahum Tate, The History of King Lear Act V.
  22. ^ "Tate's Lear at Riverside," by Mel Gussow, The New York Times, April 5, 1985, and "King Lear for Optimists," by Howard Kissel, Women's Wear Daily, March 22, 1985.
  23. ^ An Existential Examination of King Lear
  24. ^ "Just Passing Through", Review of Stephen Greenblatt's 'Hamlet in Purgatory', 20th May 2001, New York Times.[2]
  25. ^ ComingSoon.net Article

Sir Sidney Lee (December 5, 1859 - March 3, 1926) was an English biographer and critic. ... False Folio is the term that Shakespeare scholars and bibliographers have applied to the earliest attempt to create a collection of Shakepearean works in a single volume, that being William Jaggards printing of ten Shakespearean and pseudo-Shakespearean plays together in 1619. ... Cover of Tates version of King Lear Nahum Tate (1652 – 1715) was an Irish Protestant poet, hymnist and lyricist, who became Poet Laureate in 1692. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... For other uses, see Latins and Latin (disambiguation). ... For the game, see Anagrams. ... Welsh redirects here, and this article describes the Welsh language. ... An anachronism (from Greek ana, back, and chronos, time) is an artifact that belongs to another time, a person who seems to be displaced in time (i. ... Duke of Albany is a peerage title that has occasionally been bestowed on the youngers sons in the Scottish and later the British Royal Family, particularly in the Houses of Stuart and Hanover. ... The Dukedom of Cornwall was the first dukedom created in the peerage of England. ... The title of Earl of Gloucester was created several times in the Peerage of England. ... The peerage title Earl of Kent has been created many times in the Peerage of England and once in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. ... Cover of Tates version of King Lear Nahum Tate (1652 – 1715) was an Irish Protestant poet, hymnist and lyricist, who became Poet Laureate in 1692. ...

External links

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The Tragedy of King Lear
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Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... The original Wikisource logo. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiquote is one of a family of wiki-based projects run by the Wikimedia Foundation, running on MediaWiki software. ... Project Gutenberg, abbreviated as PG, is a volunteer effort to digitize, archive and distribute cultural works. ... old Radio 4 logo BBC Radio 4 is a UK domestic radio station which broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes including news, drama, comedy, science and history. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)[1] was an English poet and playwright. ... William Shakespeare (National Portrait Gallery), in the famous Chandos portrait, artist and authenticity unconfirmed. ... Detail from statue of Shakespeare in Leicester Square, London. ... William Shakespeares influence extends from theatre to literature to the English language itself. ... This article or section includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... William Shakespeare (National Portrait Gallery), in the famous Chandos portrait, artist and authenticity unconfirmed. ... The frontispiece of the First Folio (1623), the first collected edition of Shakespeares plays. ... Image File history File links Shakespeare2. ... Shakespeare wrote tragedies from the beginning of his career. ... Anthony and Cleopatra, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. ... Venturia at the Feet of Coriolanus by Gaspare Landi Photo courtesy of The VRoma Project. ... Dame Ellen Terry as Imogen This article is about Shakespeares play. ... For other uses, see Hamlet (disambiguation). ... Facsimile of the first page of Julius Caesar from the First Folio, published in 1623 Julius Caesar is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed written in 1599. ... This article is about Shakespeares play. ... For other uses, see Othello (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Romeo and Juliet (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Timon (disambiguation). ... Title page of the first quarto edition (1594) For the band of the same name, see Titus Andronicus (band). ... For the Chaucer poem, see Troilus and Criseyde. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... For other uses, see Alls Well That Ends Well (disambiguation). ... Walter Deverell,The Mock Marriage of Orlando and Rosalind, 1853 William Shakespeares As You Like It is a pastoral comedy written in 1599 or early 1600. ... Poster for a performance The Comedy of Errors is one of William Shakespeares early plays, written between 1592 and 1594. ... For the film, see Loves Labours Lost (2000 film). ... Claudio and Isabella (1850) by William Holman Hunt Measure for Measure is a play by William Shakespeare, written in 1603. ... Title page of the first quarto (1600) The Merchant of Venice is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written sometime between 1596 and 1598. ... Title page of the 1602 quarto The Merry Wives of Windsor is a comedy by William Shakespeare featuring the fat knight Sir John Falstaff and is Shakespeares only play to deal exclusively with contemporary English life. ... For other uses, see A Midsummer Nights Dream (disambiguation). ... Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy by William Shakespeare. ... Title page of the 1611 quarto edition of the play Pericles, Prince of Tyre is a play written (at least in part) by William Shakespeare and included in modern editions of his collected plays despite some questions over its authorship. ... Taming of the Shrew by Augustus Egg The Taming of the Shrew is a comedy by William Shakespeare. ... For other uses, see Tempest. ... Twelfth Night has at least three meanings: Twelfth Night (holiday), celebrated by some Christians Twelfth Night, or What You Will, a comedic play by William Shakespeare Twelfth Night (band), a progressive rock band This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the... The Two Gentlemen of Verona is a comedy by William Shakespeare from early in his career. ... The Two Noble Kinsmen is a play written in 1613 by John Fletcher and William Shakespeare in collaboration. ... Florizel and Perdita by Charles Robert Leslie. ... Traditionally, the plays of William Shakespeare have been grouped into three categories: tragedies, comedies, and histories. ... The Life and Death of King John is one of the Shakespearean histories, plays written by William Shakespeare and based on the history of England. ... Title page of Richard II, from the fifth quarto, published in 1615. ... Title page of the first quarto (1598) Henry IV, Part 1 is a history play by William Shakespeare. ... Henry IV part 2 is a history play by William Shakespeare, first published as part of Shakespeares First Folio. ... Title page of the first quarto (1600) Henry V, also known as The Cronicle History of Henry the fift, is a play by William Shakespeare based on the life of King Henry V of England. ... The First Part of King Henry the Sixth is one of Shakespeares history plays. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Henry VI Part III is the third of William Shakespeares plays set during the lifetime of King Henry VI of England, and prepares the ground for one of his best-known and most controversial plays: the tragedy of King Richard III (Richard III of England). ... Frontispage of the First Quarto Richard The Third. ... Dame Ellen Terry as Katherine of Aragon The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eighth was one of the last plays written by the English playwright William Shakespeare, based on the life of Henry VIII of England. ... -1... Title page of the first quarto (1593) Venus and Adonis is one of Shakespeares three longer poems. ... The Earl of Southampton, painted in 1594, aged 21, the year that Shakespeare dedicated The Rape of Lucrece to him The narrative poem The Rape of Lucrece is the graver work promised by English dramatist-poet William Shakespeare in his dedication to his patron, Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton... The Passionate Pilgrim is a collection of poems, first published in 1599, attributed on the title-page to William Shakespeare. ... The Phoenix and the Turtle is a poem by William Shakespeare. ... A Lovers Complaint is a narrative poem usually attributed to William Shakespeare, although the poems authorship is a matter of critical debate. ... The Shakespeare Apocrypha is the name given to a group of plays that have sometimes been attributed to William Shakespeare, but whose attribution is questionable for various reasons. ... The Reign of King Edward III is a play attributed to William Shakespeare. ... Playtext from the 2005 Royal Shakespeare Company production. ... Publicity poster for the 2002 Los Angeles production of The Second Maidens Tragedy as The History of Cardenio is a lost play, known to have been performed by the Kings Men, a London theatre company, in 1613. ... Loves Labours Won, alternatively written Loves labours wonne, is the name of a play written by William Shakespeare before 1598. ... The Birth of Merlin, or, The Child Hath Found his Father is a Jacobean play, written in 1622. ... Locrine is an Elizabethan play depicting the legendary Trojan founders of the nation of England and of Troynovant (London). ... The London Prodigal is a city comedy set in London in which a prodigal son learns the error of his ways. ... Title page of the 1607 quarto The Puritan is a Jacobean comedy, published in 1607, generally considered to be written by Thomas Middleton. ... The Second Maidens Tragedy is a Jacobean play that survives only in manuscript. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Sir John Oldcastle is an Elizabethan play about John Oldcastle, a controversial 14th-15th century rebel and Lollard who was seen by some of Shakespeares contemporaries as a proto-Protestant martyr. ... Thomas Lord Cromwell is an Elizabethan play, published in 1602. ... A Yorkshire Tragedy is an early Jacobean era stage play, a domestic tragedy printed in 1608. ... Fair Em, the Millers Daughter of Manchester, is an Elizabethan comedy written ca. ... Mucedorus is a play at one time claimed to be one of Shakespeares. ... The Merry Devil of Edmonton is an Elizabethan comedy about a magician, Peter Fabel, nicknamed the Merry Devil. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Edmund Ironside is an anonymous Elizabethan play that depicts the life of Edmund II of England; however, at least two critics have suggested it is an early work by Shakespeare. ... Vortigern and Rowena, or Vortigern, an Historical Play is a play that was touted as a newly discovered work by William Shakespeare when it first appeared in 1796. ... Sir John Gilberts 1849 painting: The Plays of William Shakespeare, containing scenes and characters from several of William Shakespeares plays. ... Sir John Gilberts 1849 painting: The Plays of William Shakespeare, containing scenes and characters from several of William Shakespeares plays. ... The precise chronology of Shakespeares plays as they were first written and performed is impossible to determine, as there is no authoritative record and many of the plays were performed many years before they were published. ... The precise chronology of Shakespeares plays as they were first written is impossible to determine, as there is no authoritative record and many of the plays were performed many years before they were published. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles. ... The BBC Television Shakespeare was a set of television adaptations of the plays of Shakespeare, produced by the BBC between 1978 and 1985. ... The following is a partially complete list of titles of works based on Shakespearean phrases. ... In Shakespeare studies, the term problem plays normally refers to three comedies that William Shakespeare wrote between the late 1590s and the first years of the seventeenth century: Alls Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure and The Merchant of Venice, although some critics would extend the term to... This list contains the biographies of historical figures who appear in the plays of William Shakespeare. ... In playwriting, a ghost character is a character that is mentioned as appearing on stage but neither says nor does anything but enter, and possibly exit. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
King Lear (1221 words)
As in Macbeth terror reaches its utmost height, in King Lear the sense of compassion is exhausted.
Lear is choleric, overbearing and almost childish from age, when he drives out his youngest daughter because she will not join in the hypocritical exaggerations of her sisters.
King Lear's Fool - An essay on the character of the Fool.
Lambs' Tales From Shakespeare - King Lear (1974 words)
Lear, king of Britain, had three daughters; Goneril, wife to the duke of Albany; Regan, wife to the duke of Cornwall; and Cordelia, a young maid, for whose love the king of France and duke of Burgundy were joint suitors, and were at this time making stay for that purpose in the court of Lear.
Lear blessed himself in having such loving children, as he thought; and could do no less, after the handsome assurances which Regan had made, than bestow a third of his kingdom upon her and her husband, equal in size to that which he had already given away to Goneril.
Lear could not but perceive this alteration in the behaviour of his daughter, but he shut his eyes against it as long as he could, as people commonly are unwilling to believe the unpleasant consequences which their own mistakes and obstinacy have brought upon them.
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