Visitor Survey Click here! Shakespeare is renowned as the English playwright and poet whose body of works is considered the greatest in history of English literature. Surprisingly for the world's greatest playwright, we actually know very little about Shakespeare's life.
Act I[ edit ] King Lear of Britain, elderly and wanting to retire from the duties of the monarchy, decides to divide his realm among his three daughters, and declares he will offer the largest share to the one who loves him most.
The eldest, Gonerilspeaks first, declaring her love for her father in fulsome terms. Moved by her flattery Lear proceeds to grant to Goneril her share as soon as she has finished her declaration, before Regan and Cordelia have a chance to speak. He then awards to Regan her share as soon as she has spoken.
When it is finally the turn of his youngest and favourite daughter, Cordelia, at first she refuses to say anything "Nothing, my Lord" and then declares there is nothing to compare her love to, nor words to properly express it; she speaks honestly but bluntly, that she loves him according to her bond, no more and no less.
Infuriated, Lear disinherits Cordelia and divides her share between her elder sisters. The Earl of Gloucester and the Earl of Kent observe that, by dividing his realm between Goneril and Regan, Lear has awarded his realm in equal shares to the peerages of the Duke of Albany Goneril's husband and the Duke of Cornwall Regan's husband.
Kent objects to Lear's unfair treatment of Cordelia; enraged by Kent's protests, Lear banishes him from the country. Lear then summons the Duke of Burgundy and the King of France, who have both proposed marriage to Cordelia.
Learning that Cordelia has been disinherited, the Duke of Burgundy withdraws his suit, but the King of France is impressed by her honesty and marries her nonetheless. He reserves to himself a retinue of one hundred knightsto be supported by his daughters.
Goneril and Regan speak privately, revealing that their declarations of love were fake, and that they view Lear as a foolish old man. Gloucester's bastard son Edmund resents his illegitimate status, and plots to dispose of his legitimate older brother Edgar. He tricks his father with a forged letter, making him think that Edgar plans to usurp the estate.
Kent returns from exile in disguise calling himself Caiusand Lear hires him as a servant. Lear discovers that now that Goneril has power, she no longer respects him. She orders him to reduce the number of his disorderly retinue.
Enraged, Lear departs for Regan's home. The Fool reproaches Lear with his foolishness in giving everything to Regan and Goneril, and predicts that Regan will treat him no better.
Act II[ edit ] Edmund learns from Curan, a courtier, that there is likely to be war between Albany and Cornwall, and that Regan and Cornwall are to arrive at Gloucester's house that evening. Taking advantage of the arrival of the duke and Regan, Edmund fakes an attack by Edgar, and Gloucester is completely taken in.
He disinherits Edgar and proclaims him an outlaw.
Bearing Lear's message to Regan, Kent meets Oswald again at Gloucester's home, quarrels with him again, and is put in the stocks by Regan and her husband Cornwall. When Lear arrives, he objects to the mistreatment of his messenger, but Regan is as dismissive of her father as Goneril was.
Lear is enraged but impotent. Goneril arrives and supports Regan's argument against him. Lear yields completely to his rage.
He rushes out into a storm to rant against his ungrateful daughters, accompanied by the mocking Fool. Kent later follows to protect him.
Gloucester protests against Lear's mistreatment. With Lear's retinue of a hundred knights dissolved, the only companions he has left are his Fool and Kent. Wandering on the heath after the storm, Edgar, in the guise of a madman named Tom o' Bedlammeets Lear.
Edgar babbles madly while Lear denounces his daughters.
Kent leads them all to shelter. He reveals evidence that his father knows of an impending French invasion designed to reinstate Lear to the throne; and in fact a French army has landed in Britain.
Once Edmund leaves with Goneril to warn Albany about the invasion, Gloucester is arrested, and Regan and Cornwall gouge out Gloucester's eyes. As he is doing so, a servant is overcome with rage by what he is witnessing and attacks Cornwall, mortally wounding him.
Regan kills the servant, and tells Gloucester that Edmund betrayed him; then she turns him out to wander the heathtoo. Act IV[ edit ] Edgar, in his madman's guise, meets his blinded father on the heath. Gloucester, sightless and failing to recognise Edgar's voice, begs him to lead him to a cliff at Dover so that he may jump to his death.
Goneril discovers that she finds Edmund more attractive than her honest husband Albany, whom she regards as cowardly. Albany has developed a conscience — he is disgusted by the sisters' treatment of Lear and Gloucester -- and denounces his wife.
Goneril sends Edmund back to Regan. After receiving news of Cornwall's death, she fears her newly widowed sister may steal Edmund and sends him a letter through Oswald. Now alone with Lear, Kent leads him to the French army, which is commanded by Cordelia.A summary of Act 5, scenes 1–2 in William Shakespeare's King Lear.
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King Lear is a tragedy written by William initiativeblog.com depicts the gradual descent into madness of the title character, after he disposes of his kingdom by giving bequests to two of his three daughters egged on by their continual flattery, bringing tragic consequences for initiativeblog.comd from the legend of Leir of Britain, a mythological pre-Roman Celtic king, the play has been widely adapted.
King Lear: Character Introduction King Lear Childlike, passionate, cruel, kind, unlikable, and sympathetic – Lear is one of Shakespeare's most complex characters and portraying him remains a tremendous challenge to any actor.
William Shakespeare was born in April in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, on England's Avon River. When he was eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway.
Script of Act I King Lear The play by William Shakespeare. Introduction This section contains the script of Act I of King Lear the play by William initiativeblog.com enduring works of William Shakespeare feature many famous and well loved characters. For King Lear as a study of a morally absurd universe, see H.
Skulsky, "King Lear and the meaning of Chaos," Shakespeare Quarterly 17 (): ; a vigorous statement of the absurdist interpretation of King Lear is Jan Kott's chapter "King Lear or Endgame" in Shakespeare our Contemporary, translated B.
Taborski (; reprinted Garden City, New York: Doubleday, l), (see pp. for some .