37 Facts About King Lear

1. King Lear is set in the kind of world in which Gloucester can say, "As flies to wanton boys are we to th' gods.

FactSnippet No. 564,730

2. King Lear seems to me Shakespeare's greatest achievement, but it seems to me not his best play.

FactSnippet No. 564,727

3. King Lear combines and integrates two separate plots—the Lear plot and the Gloucester plot.

FactSnippet No. 564,726

4. King Lear fears going mad and apparently does, although there is much sanity and even wisdom in his apparently mad utterances on the heath and with Gloucester in Dover.

FactSnippet No. 564,725

5. King Lear goes mad because of his inability to understand their betrayals.

FactSnippet No. 564,724

6. King Lear marries the King Lear of France and, when she hears of how her sisters have mistreated her father, she leads a French army to England to rescue him.

FactSnippet No. 564,721

7. King Lear enters bearing Cordelia dead in his arms and howling in grief.

FactSnippet No. 564,720

8. King Lear discusses his mortality, condemns hypocrisy, power, and the injustices of authority.

FactSnippet No. 564,718

9. King Lear admires Poor Tom's strange freedom, owing no one anything because he possesses nothing.

FactSnippet No. 564,715

10. King Lear is bareheaded in the middle of a barren heath, a brutal storm pelting him and the Fool.

FactSnippet No. 564,712

11. King Lear tries to believe that Regan is still true to him and her profession of love.

FactSnippet No. 564,710

12. King Lear begins to realize he was mistaken to find fault with Cordelia and banish her.

FactSnippet No. 564,706

13. King Lear is delighted, thanks him and accepts him as his servant.

FactSnippet No. 564,702

14. King Lear is pained to hear what he has noticed himself and sends the knight to tell Goneril that Lear wishes to speak to her.

FactSnippet No. 564,700

15. King Lear is grateful to him for giving voice to what he himself has noticed.

FactSnippet No. 564,699

16. King Lear adds that if King Lear does not like how he is treated, he can go stay with Regan, who, Goneril adds, agrees with her about the treatment of their father.

FactSnippet No. 564,697

17. King Lear is recorded as having been performed at the court of King James in 1606.

FactSnippet No. 564,692

18. At the time King Lear was written, almost half of England's population consisted of the poor.

FactSnippet No. 564,690

19. King Lear arrives at Gloucester's castle to find his servant Caius in the stocks, and Regan and Cornwall unwilling to see the king.

FactSnippet No. 564,687

20. King Lear has a double storyline, involving two sets of characters who interconnect.

FactSnippet No. 564,685

21. King Lear is therefore one of Shakespeare's last great statements on the tragic potential in human life.

FactSnippet No. 564,682

22. King Lear was first performed in 1606, only three years after Elizabeth's passing.

FactSnippet No. 564,681

23. King Lear is remarkable for its skillful integration of parallel plot lines.

FactSnippet No. 564,677

24. King Lear dies of grief when he learns that both Gloucester and the Fool are dead.

FactSnippet No. 564,672

25. King Lear is cast out Enraged by his daughters' refusal to allow him to keep 100 knights to attend him, Lear and his Fool depart into the stormy night alone.

FactSnippet No. 564,671

26. King Lear continues to inspire modern writers, artists, and directors.

FactSnippet No. 564,668

27. King Lear is filled with more references to animals and nature than any other Shakespeare play.

FactSnippet No. 564,667

28. King Lear was written during the reign of England's King James I, and the play's first recorded performance took place at Whitehall on St Stephen's Day in 1606.

FactSnippet No. 564,666

29. King Lear was staged by Royal Shakespeare Company, with Antony Sher in the lead role.

FactSnippet No. 564,660 - en.wikipedia.org

30. King Lear appeared as a head of multi-national conglomerate who divided up his fortune among his socialite daughter Goneril (Brenda Scott), his officious middle daughter Regan (Noelle Fair) and university daughter Cordelia (Emily Best).

FactSnippet No. 564,659 - en.wikipedia.org

31. King Lear reduced the prominence of the Edgar-Cordelia love story, in order to focus more on the relationship between Lear and his daughters.

FactSnippet No. 564,656 - en.wikipedia.org

32. King Lear provides a basis for "the primary enactment of psychic breakdown in English literary history".

FactSnippet No. 564,654 - en.wikipedia.org

33. King Lear is a literary variant of a common folk tale, Love Like Salt, Aarne–Thompson type 923, in which a father rejects his youngest daughter for a statement of her love that does not please him.

FactSnippet No. 564,653 - en.wikipedia.org

34. King Lear 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.

FactSnippet No. 564,652 - en.wikipedia.org

35. King Lear rushes out into a storm to rant against his ungrateful daughters, accompanied by the mocking Fool.

FactSnippet No. 564,651 - en.wikipedia.org

36. King Lear discovers that now that Goneril has power, she no longer respects him.

FactSnippet No. 564,648 - en.wikipedia.org

37. King Lear announces he will live alternately with Goneril and Regan, and their husbands.

FactSnippet No. 564,646 - en.wikipedia.org