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Okay, I'l give you a brief summary. King Lear has three daughters: Goneril, his eldest, Regan, the middle child, and Cordelia, the youngest and his favorite. Both Goneril and Regan are married to men of power: Albany and Cornwall, respectively. Cordelia is unmarried and assumed, like all unmarried women of that time period, to be pure. When King Lear decides he is going to pass down the rule of his kingdom and divide it amongst his daughters, he demands that his three lovelies earn it by convincing him that each of them loves him the most. He is, basically, fishing for public flattery. Goneril and Regan try to one-up each other by kissing the king's royal behind, but Cordelia refuses, believing that she shows her love for her father every day. For this, Cordelia is disinherited and banished, and all hell breaks loose from there.
Because Lear was more interested in appearances than real loyalty and devotion, he royally (ha ha) screws up his kingdom and life. Goneril and Regan are horrible to their father after he hands over the control, and he winds up wandering his kingdom, cold, hungry, practically naked...basically a broken man. Cordelia, the only truly loyal and loving daughter, sends to France to try to help him take back his kingdom. King Lear realizes his mistake, but it is too late. Cordelia is executed for her efforts and Lear dies of grief. Hope this helps. :)