King Lear: An Introduction

King Lear is a very popular tragedy by William Shakespeare. It was written in 1605-06. It is cited as his best tragedy. It consists of five acts. This play tells the story of an aged king of Britain. His name is King Lear. Here King Lear, the protagonist, attempts to divide his kingdom among his three daughters named Goneril, Regan and Cordelia. He is blind and unfair as a father. He divides his entire Kingdom between his two daughters who flatter him. He banishes Cordelia, his perfect daughter. King Lear commits a serious error in judgment. This error in judgment becomes his tragic flaw. It becomes the real reason of his downfall and tragic death. After unfair division of his Kingdom he decides to live with Goneril and Regan turn by turn. After some time Goneril asks him to reduce the number of his followers because of their odd behavior. At this the king becomes very angry. He goes to live with Regan. But she also rejects him. The king becomes mad and he begins to wander here and there. He starts running on the heath. In the meantime Cordelia appears with a French army to fight in favour of her father against her sisters and their husbands. Unfortunately King Lear and Cordelia are captured. Regan is already dead. She was given poison by Goneril. She was jealous of Regan. After some time Goneril kills herself. Cordelia is hanged. Lear is shocked to know about the death of Cordelia. He is not able in bearing the pain. He also dies.


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