King Lear is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1603 and 1606, and is considered one of his greatest works. The play is based on the legend of King Leir of Britain. It has been widely adapted for stage and screen, with the part of Lear being played by many of the world's most accomplished actors.
The play begins with King Lear's decision to abdicate the throne and divide his kingdom among his three daughters: Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia. The eldest two are already married, while Cordelia is much sought after as a bride, partly because she is her father's favorite. It is announced that each daughter shall be accorded lands according to how much she demonstrates her love for him in speech. To King Lear's surprise, Cordelia refuses to outdo the flattery of her elder sisters, as she cannot be compelled to describe her love with dishonest hyperbole. Lear, in a fit of pique, divides her share of the kingdom between Goneril and Regan, and Cordelia is disowned.
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The Floating Press Ltd.
January 01, 2008
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