Some time beforea funerary monument was erected in his memory on the north wall, with a half-effigy of him in the act of writing. Its plaque compares him to NestorSocratesand Virgil.
A conversation between Kent, Gloucester, and Gloucester's son Edmund introduces the play's primary plot: The king is planning to divide his kingdom among his three daughters. The audience also learns that Gloucester has two sons. The older, Edgar, is his legitimate heir, and the younger, Edmund, is illegitimate; however, Gloucester loves both sons equally.
This information provides the subplot. King Lear enters to a fanfare of trumpets, followed by his two sons-in-law — Albany and Cornwall — and his three daughters — Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia. Lear announces that he has divided his kingdom into three shares to be given to his daughters as determined by their declarations of love for him.
Goneril, as the eldest, speaks first. She tells her father that her love for him is boundless. Regan, as the middle child, speaks next. Her love, she says, is even greater than Goneril's. Finally, it is Cordelia's turn to express the depth of her love for her royal father.
But when queried by Lear, Cordelia replies that she loves him as a daughter should love a father, no more and no less. She reminds her father that she also will owe devotion to a husband when she marries, and therefore cannot honestly tender all her love toward her father.
Lear sees Cordelia's reply as rejection; in turn, he disowns Cordelia, saying that she will now be "a stranger to my heart and me" I. King Lear then divides his kingdom between Goneril and Regan, giving each an equal share.
Kent interferes by asking Lear to reconsider his rash action. Lear is not swayed, and in anger, he banishes Kent for defending Cordelia and for confronting the king.
At Kent's departure, the King of France and Duke of Burgundy enter, both of whom are suitors for Cordelia's hand in marriage. They are told that Cordelia will not receive a dowry or inheritance from her father. The Duke withdraws his suit, because a wife without a dowry is of no use to him. In contrast, the King of France claims that Cordelia is a prize, even without her share of Lear's kingdom, and announces his intent to marry Cordelia.
Cordelia bids her sisters farewell, and leaves with the King of France. When Goneril and Regan are left alone, the two sisters reveal their plan to discredit the king. Analysis The play opens with a scene that introduces most of the primary characters and establishes both the main plot and a subplot.
This first scene also is important because it provides the audience with an introduction to the character of Kent before he is banished and before he reappears disguised as Caius in Scene 4.The king is coming.
Sennet. Enter KING LEAR, CORNWALL, ALBANY, GONERIL, REGAN, CORDELIA, and Attendants.
Bad is the trade that must play fool to sorrow, Bear free and patient thoughts. But who comes here? Enter KING LEAR, fantastically dressed with wild flowers.
Shakespeare’s story of a king who divides his realm between his three daughters probes the depths of human suffering and despair.
First staged in , for centuries King Lear was thought too bleak to perform, but its nihilism has heavily influenced modern drama. Read a character analysis of Lear, plot summary, and important quotes.
of “taking up Shakespeare,” finding our own thoughts and feelings in language that strikes us as old or unusual and, for that very reason, The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is the two of King Lear, Henry V.
quotes from King Lear: ‘When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools.’. Summary. The scene opens in King Lear's palace. A conversation between Kent, Gloucester, and Gloucester's son Edmund introduces the play's primary plot: The king is planning to divide his kingdom among his three daughters.
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.