King Lear Study Guide & Essays
The story of King Lear and his three daughters existed in some form up to four centuries before Shakespeare recorded his vision. Lear was a British King who reigned before the birth of Christ, allowing Shakespeare to place his play in a Pagan setting. Predated by references in British mythology to…
King Lear study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
- King Lear Summary
- About King Lear
- Character List
- Summary and Analysis of Act I
- Summary and Analysis of Act II
- Summary and Analysis of Act III
- Summary and Analysis of Act IV
- Summary and Analysis of Act V
- Folly of the Fool
- Sight and Consciousness: An Interpretive Study in King Lear
- An Examination of the Inverse Tropes of Sight and Blindness in King Lear
- Gender, Power, and Economics in King Lear
- Cordelia's Confidence: The Impact of King Lear's Youngest Daughter's Self-Assurance
by William Shakespeare (excerpt)
LEAR. Meantime we shall express our darker purpose.
Give me the map there. Know we have divided
In three our kingdom; and 'tis our fast intent
To shake all cares and business from our age,
Conferring them on younger strengths while we
Unburthen'd crawl toward death. …Tell me, my daughters
(Since now we will divest us both of rule,
Interest of territory, cares of state),
Which of you shall we say doth love us most?
That we our largest bounty may extend
Where nature doth with merit challenge. Goneril,
Our eldest-born, speak first.
GONERIL. Sir, I love you more than words can wield the matter;
Dearer than eyesight, space, and liberty;
Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare;
No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, honour;
As much as child e'er lov'd, or father found;
A love that makes breath poor, and speech unable.
Beyond all manner of so much I love you.
CORDELIA. [aside] What shall Cordelia speak? Love, and be silent.