King Lear decides that he is going divide his kingdom into three sections and give a section to each of his daughters. In order to decide how much land and power each daughter will get, Lear has all three make pledges of their love to him. The older two greedy daughters do so, lying to please Lear, but his favorite, so he cut her off and gave everything to his other scheming daughter and their husbands.
But after the girls get the land and the power, they no longer have any use for their father. Lear must then face the terrible mistake that he made in casting aside the only daughter who truly loved him.
This report prepared by Jess
"Lear" is Shakespeare's grandest (not necessarily greatest) tragedy. From the seemingly intimate conflict between father and daughters, and between brothers, the Bard draws out the mammoth issues of fate, the nature of the gods, and forgiveness. Old King Lear divides up his kingdom capriciously between his three daughters, spurns the youngest and truest on a whim, and suffers the consequences. The son of one of his advisors, Gloucester, also plots the downfall of his good brother and ineffectual but good-hearted father. The elements seem to reflect if not conspire in Lear's fall into madness, in Gloucester's betrayal by his son, yet honest and true Cordelia, Kent, and Edgar manage to wrest some justice from an unfeeling universe that cracks and crumbles at the seams. Reading this play, or seeing it performed (especially without cuts!) is an exhausting experience.
This report prepared by David Loftus