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King Lear: A Summary of the Play

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33 minutes

Summary

"King Lear" is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare, depicting the gradual descent into madness of the title character after he disposes of his kingdom giving bequests to two of his three daughters based on their flattery of him, bringing tragic consequences for all.

The play is derived from the legend of Leir of Britain, a mythological pre-Roman Celtic king; after the English Restoration, it was often revised with a happy ending for audiences who disliked its dark and depressing tone, but since the nineteenth century, Shakespeare's original version has been regarded as one of his supreme achievements. The tragedy is particularly noted for its probing observations on the nature of human suffering and kinship. George Bernard Shaw wrote: "No man will ever write a better tragedy than Lear."

This is a detailed summary of the play, retold in today's language.

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