35 Facts About King Lear


King Lear becomes destitute and insane and a proscribed crux of political machinations.

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Earl of Gloucester and the Earl of Kent observe that, by dividing his realm between Goneril and Regan, King Lear has awarded his realm in equal shares to the peerages of the Duke of Albany and the Duke of Cornwall (Regan's husband).

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

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When King Lear arrives, he objects to the mistreatment of his messenger, but Regan is as dismissive of her father as Goneril was.

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King Lear then sends the gentleman to give Cordelia a message while he looks for King Lear on the heath.

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Now alone with King Lear, Kent leads him to the French army, which is commanded by Cordelia.

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King Lear considers the dilemma and plots the deaths of Albany, Lear, and Cordelia.

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King Lear enters bearing Cordelia's corpse in his arms, having survived by killing the executioner.

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Albany urges King Lear to resume his throne, but as with Gloucester, the trials King Lear has been through have finally overwhelmed him, and he dies.

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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.

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John F Danby, in his Shakespeare's Doctrine of Nature – A Study of King Lear, argues that Lear dramatizes, among other things, the current meanings of "Nature".

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Likewise, James was notorious for his riotous, debauched lifestyle and his preference for sycophantic courtiers who were forever singing his praises out of the hope for advancement, aspects of his court that closely resemble the court of King Lear, who starts out in the play with a riotous, debauched court of sycophantic courtiers.

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The play begins with King Lear ruling all of Britain and ends with him destroying his realm; the critic Andrew Hadfield argued that the division of Britain by King Lear was an inversion of the unification of Britain by James, who believed his policies would result in a well governed and prosperous unified realm being passed on to his heir.

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Hadfield argued that the world of Lear's court is "childish" with Lear presenting himself as the father of the nation and requiring all of his subjects, not just his children, to address him in paternal terms, which infantises most of the people around him, which pointedly references James's statement in his 1598 book The Trew Law of Free Monarchies that the king is the "father of the nation", for whom all of his subjects are his children.

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

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Therefore, when the play begins with King Lear rejecting his daughter, it can be interpreted as him rejecting death; King Lear is unwilling to face the finitude of his being.

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The play's poignant ending scene, wherein King Lear carries the body of his beloved Cordelia, was of great importance to Freud.

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Critics are divided on the question of whether King Lear represents an affirmation of a particular Christian doctrine.

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King Lear has been performed by esteemed actors since the 17th century, when men played all the roles.

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

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King Lear's version had a powerful emotional impact: Lear driven to madness by his daughters was "the finest tragic distress ever seen on any stage" and, in contrast, the devotion shown to Lear by Cordelia (a mix of Shakespeare's, Tate's and Garrick's contributions to the part) moved the audience to tears.

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King Lear was politically controversial during the period of George III's madness, and as a result was not performed at all in the two professional theatres of London from 1811 to 1820: but was then the subject of major productions in both, within three months of his death.

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King Lear is leaning on a huge scabbarded sword which he raises with a wild cry in answer to the shouted greeting of his guards.

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Poel was influenced by a performance of King Lear directed by Jocza Savits at the Hoftheater in Munich in 1890, set on an apron stage with a three-tier Globe—like reconstruction theatre as its backdrop.

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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).

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

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King Lear was played on Broadway by Christopher Plummer in 2004 and Glenda Jackson in 2019, with Jackson reprising her portrayal from a 2016 production at The Old Vic in London.

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Paul Scofield, as King Lear, eschews sentimentality: This demanding old man with a coterie of unruly knights provokes audience sympathy for the daughters in the early scenes, and his presentation explicitly rejects the tradition of playing King Lear as "poor old white-haired patriarch".

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Kozintzev described his vision of the film as an ensemble piece: with King Lear, played by a dynamic Juri Jarvet, as first among equals in a cast of fully developed characters.

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In 2008, a version of King Lear produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company premiered with Ian McKellen in the role of King Lear.

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King Lear is an executive in a corporate empire instead of a literal one, being phased out of her position.

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On 28 May 2018, BBC Two broadcast King Lear starring Anthony Hopkins in the title role and Emma Thompson as Goneril.

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King Lear was broadcast live on the BBC Third Programme on 29 September 1967, starring John Gielgud, Barbara Jefford, Barbara Bolton and Virginia McKenna as Lear and his daughters.

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Jane Smiley's 1991 novel A Thousand Acres, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, is based on King Lear, but set in a farm in Iowa in 1979 and told from the perspective of the oldest daughter.

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Edward St Aubyn's 2017 novel Dunbar is a modern retelling of King Lear, commissioned as part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series.

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