Shakespeare's King Lear: Some Facts
* King Lear is a play by William Shakespeare.
* King Lear is a tragedy in five acts.
* King Lear was written in 1605- 06.
The major characters of this tragedy are:
01. King Lear: King Lear is the king of Britain. He is an aged king. It is he who is the protagonist of this play. He suffers a lot due to some typical complexities in his character. He has three daughters named Goneril, Regan and Cordelia. He suffers a lot in the play due to the ingratitude of his two daughters- Goneril and Regan. He becomes mad and at the end of the play he dies.
02. Cordelia: Cordelia is one of the noblest heroins of William Shakespeare. She is the youngest daughter of King Lear. She is beautiful. She is sincere. She truly loves her father. She is the personification of filial love. Candidness and reticence are excellently blended in her character. Due to misconception of the king she does not get her share. The king of France accepts her as his queen. When King Lear becomes mad, Cordelia comes to rescue him. Unfortunately she dies at the end of the play.
03. Goneril: She is the eldest daughter of King Lear. She cheats her father and gets half of the kingdom of King Lear. Duke of Albany is her husband. She is the symbol of ingratitude.
04. Regan: She is the second daughter of King Lear. She is also a cheater. Duke of Cornwall is her husband. She also is the symbol of ingratitude.
05. Kent: He is a courtier in the court of King Lear. He is loyal to the king. The king banishes him when he supports Cordelia in the court.
06. Edgar: He is the son of Gloucester.
07. Gloucester: He is the father of Edgar and a courtier in the court of King Lear.
08. Edmund: Edmund is the bastard son of Gloucester.
09. Cornwall: He is the husband of Regan.
10. Albany: He is the husband of Goneril.
Summary of King Lear:
One day King Lear, an aged king of Britain, decides to distribute his kingdom among his three daughters. He attempts to allot each daughter a particular portion of his kingdom in proportion to the expressiveness of their love. His two elder daughters Goneril and Regan are shrewd and hypocritical. They make grand pronouncement. For that they are rewarded. Cordelia, the youngest daughter, loves her father truly. She refuses to express her love for her father. She feels that true love can not be proved with the help of words. She is scolded and disinherited. Later on Goneril and Regan mock Lear. They do not fulfill their promises. They refuse to support him. Due to their ingratitude the king becomes mad. He is accompanied by his fool. The banished Kent appears to help him. To rescue her father, Cordelia invade her native country with French army. She gets her father in the state of madness. She takes care of him. Lear becomes normal. Unfortunately her army is defeated. She along with her father is arrested. The subplot of the play deals with the story of Gloucester. His bastard son Edmund confuses him. That is why he rejects his loving son Edgar. Edgar becomes the helper of the mad king. On the other hand Edmund helps Goneril and Regan against Cordelia. He hands over Gloucester to Regan's brutal husband who makes him blind. Cordelia and Lear are arrested. In love rivalry Goneril poisons Regan and commits suicide herself. Cordelia is hanged and the broken king dies with Cordelia's dead body in his arms.