Teacher Guide

King Lear Lesson Plan

Introduction to King Lear

First produced circa 1605 and first published in quarto in 1608, Shakespeare's King Lear is a tragic play based on an ancient British legend of a king. While of an advanced age and lacking a male heir, he decides to divide his kingdom among his three daughters, Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia. A disagreement between him his youngest (and most worthy and capable) daughter, Cordelia, results in his disinheriting her, and the kingdom is thus divided between Regan and Goneril. This proves to be the worst possible solution. The kingdom is weakened by being divided in half, power is given to the daughters least fit for leadership, and Lear himself, who wants to enjoy retirement from the...

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