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King Lear (The New Folger Library…
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King Lear (The New Folger Library Shakespeare) (original 1994; edition 2004)

by William Shakespeare, Barbara A. Mowatt (Editor), Paul Werstine (Editor)

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9,70888298 (4.07)442
Member:ncgraham
Title:King Lear (The New Folger Library Shakespeare)
Authors:William Shakespeare
Other authors:Barbara A. Mowatt (Editor), Paul Werstine (Editor)
Info:Simon & Schuster (2004), Edition: 1, Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Read in 2012 (inactive), Unowned
Rating:****1/2
Tags:'12, Classics, Inspired an opera (or two), Drama, Own in collection, Brit lit, 17th cent, Watched the movie(s), Tragic destiny, Tragedy, School, Need to watch or rewatch the movie

Work details

King Lear by William Shakespeare (1994)

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English (83)  Russian (1)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (87)
Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
Extraordinarily powerful, even for Shakespeare. Wish I didn't rush through most of it. ( )
  chronoceros | Jul 15, 2016 |
There are three main reasons for the disorder already occurring by the end of Act I. The first and most obvious is Lear's madness. He certain seems to be loosing it a bit, and his crazed banishment of Cordelia and Kent couldn't possibly have done anything but harm to him. The second reason is Cordelia's sister's treachery. It could be argued that they appear to be trying to protect him and their people by taking away his knights, he is crazy after all, if it weren't for Cordelia's parting words to them; "I know you what you are;/And, like a sister, am most loth to call/Your faults as they are nam'd. Love well our father:/To your professed bosoms I commit him:/But yet, alas, stood I within his grace, I would prefer him to a better place." And a few lines later; "Time shall unfold what plighted cunning/Who cover faults, at last shame them derides." These lines seem to indicate that Cordelia knows that Goneril and Regan are not only flattering Lear for gain, but also that they hold him in contempt, and will likely do him harm, and revealing the second harbinger of disorder.

The third indicator of the chaos to come is Edmund. I feel bad for him, for the contempt others hold him in because of the doings of his parents, but he quickly does what he can to dispel my pity for him with his evil attitudes as he works to turn his father and brother against one another. I find it ironic that he distains his father's belief in fate through astrology, yet confesses that because of when he was born he was supposed to be 'rough and lecherous,' yet doesn't believe himself to have those traits he was just showing.

Shakespeare's purpose in showing this disorder seems to come from the idea of dividing his kingdom. A divided kingdom would often lead to civil war and chaos, so Lear's deliberate dividing of the kingdom would probably have been viewed as deliberately inviting disorder.

Power in England was structured in a pyramid. The king on top, and wealth and power went to a few nobles who had all the money. Lear was trying to disrupt that structure in a way that would have alarmed the people watching the play. Cordelia took a great risk in not bowing to her father's wishes, as his denying her dowry could have driven away both her suitors, leaving her alone and destitute in a world that didn't favor lone women. In her case, however Cordelia's suitor from France still marries her, which would be very unusual since she had no dowry, and she wouldn't gain him an alliance with England.

Family dynamics can change depending on the health of a person, as others may come into their lives and as children grow up. Cordelia was Lear's favorite child, yet when she would not lie to him with flattery, he cast her off. Why? Did he not realize that her impending marriage would change is relationship with her? She would still love him, of course, but even with the play being in pre-Christian era, the belief would probably have been that the wife's foremost alliegence should be to her husband, and Lear should have understood this. In fact, it seems strange that he would have even questioned this part of the structure of society at all.

No one has a perfect family. This is shown in Edgar and Edmund's family. Gloster (or Gloucester as some versions call him) may have been unfaithful to his wife, it's never stated whether she was alive at the time of Edmund's conception. If Gloster was unfaithful to his wife than he was dishonest and breaking one of the oldest understandings of marriage. If Edgar's mother had already died, that Gloster was not responsible enough to remarry, and to marry Edmund's mother, or at least admit himself Edmund's father when the boy was a child, instead of waiting until Edmund was old enough to distinguish himself, and in doing so, add to Gloster's reputation. It seems very unfair that Edmund, and almost any other illigitmate child born until the the late 1900s should be punished for something that their parents did. Yet neither should Edmund take out his misfortunes on his brother, who was, in all probability, guiltless in tormenting him. After all, Edgar trusts Edmund completely, which does not seem like an attitude he would hold had he tormented Edmund before. I think that Gloster could have stopped his fate had he treated Edmund with kindness from the beginning of his life, rather than waiting until Edmund could add to his reputation to acknowledge him.

I don't actually seem him mocking Edmund, so much as simply being ashamed of his illegitimacy because it was Gloster's own act that was the cause of Edmund's bastardy. As Gloster was speaking to Kent, he was very frank about the manner of Edmund's conception, to the point that we would say he was being rude to Edmund, but really, for the time, the fact that he had acknowledged Edmund as his son at all was better than many bastards would have gotten. For this reason I think that more than anything it was the fact that he took so long to acknowledge Edmund, that led to Edmund's bitterness and Gloster's downfall.

(This review is patched up from posts I made on an online Shakespeare class) ( )
  NicoleSch | Jun 1, 2016 |
To sum up the play in one sentence: this is the story of a king seeking to divide his kingdom among his three daughters based on who could articulate her love for him the best. Beyond that it is the tragedy of emotional greed - of wanting to be loved at any cost. It is the tragedy of politics and family dynamics. Youngest daughter Cordelia is unwilling to conform to her father's wishes of exaggerated devotion. Isn't the last born always the rebel in the family? As a result Cordelia's portion of the kingdom is divided among her two sisters, Goneril and Regan. The story goes on to ooze betrayal and madness. Lear is trapped by his own ego and made foolish by his hubris. ( )
  SeriousGrace | May 2, 2016 |
King Lear makes a fateful decision to divide his kingdom between his three daughters. The reaction of one daughter, Cordelia, displeases the king so much that he cuts her out of any inheritance. The kingdom will be divided between the other two daughters, Goneril and Regan. His plan is that they will take care of him in his old age. They soon decide that they don't want to use their inheritance to support their father, and the king finds himself with nowhere to shelter in a violent storm. Meanwhile, the Earl of Gloucester's illegitimate son plots to usurp his legitimate brother's place as their father's heir. As in many of Shakespeare's plays, there are characters in disguise. It's filled with violence and cruelty without comic relief like the gravedigger scene in Hamlet. The family conflict at its heart will continue to resonate with audiences and readers as long as there are families. ( )
  cbl_tn | Mar 12, 2016 |
Not my cup of tea, but it was nice to read it because I haven't before. ( )
  katieloucks | Feb 26, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (172 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shakespeare, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baudissin, Wolf Heinrich GrafTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brissaud, PierreIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brooke, C. F. TuckerEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buck, Philo M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eccles, MarkEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foakes, R. A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Günther, FrankTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hallqvist, Britt G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harbage, AlfredEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrison, G. B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jylhä, YrjöTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kellogg, BrainerdEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kittredge, George LymanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lamar, Virginia A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mowat, Barbara A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muir, KennethEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Noguchi, IsamuIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orgel, StephenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Radspieler, HansEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ribner, IrvingEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ridley, M. R.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rolfe, William J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weis, RenéEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Werstine, PaulEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wieland, Christoph MartinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wolfit, DonaldIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wright, Louis B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Ran (1985IMDb)
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Epigraph
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First words
I thought the king had more affected the Duke of Albany than Cornwall.
Quotations
Although the last, not least.
Nothing will come of nothing.
How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is

To have a thankless child!
Oh, that way madness lies; let me shun that.
The worst is not

So long as we can say, "This is the worst."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This entry is for the COMPLETE "King Lear" only. Do not combine it with abridgements, simplified adaptations or modernizations, Cliffs Notes or similar, or videorecordings of performances, and please separate any that are here.

It should go without saying that this work should also not be combined with any other plays or combinations of plays.
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Book description
Hinn aldurhnigni konungur Lér hefur ákveðið að skipta konungsríki sínu á milli dætra sinna þriggja, og skal hlutur hverrar dóttur fara eftir því hvað ást hennar á honum er mikil. En hvað vottar skýrast um ást barna til foreldra? Auðsveipni og fagurgali eldri systranna tveggja eða sjálfstæði og hreinskilni Kordelíu þeirrar yngstu? Æfur af reiði yfir því sem Lér telur skort á ást, afneitar hann Kordelíu og skiptir ríkinu í tvennt á milli eldri systranna. Í hönd fara tímar grimmúðlegrar valdabaráttu, svikráða og upplausnar og það líður ekki á löngu þar til eldri systurnar hafa hrakið föður sinn á burt.Meistaraverk Shakespeares veitir einstaka innsýn í heim hinna valdaþyrstu, blekkingar þeirra og klæki. Tímalaust listaverk fullt af visku um átök kynslóðanna, drambið, blinduna, brjálsemina og það að missa allt. Lér konungur er kynngimagnað og stórbrotið leikrit, einn frægasti harmleikur  Shakespeares. Verkið á erindi við fólk á öllum tímum og er sviðsett í leikhúsum um víða veröld á ári hverju.Hér er á ferð ný þýðing Þórarins Eldjárns á þessu sígilda meistaraverki sem gerð er í tilefni af uppsetningu Þjóðleikhússins á verkinu leikárið 2010-2011.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 074348276X, Mass Market Paperback)

Folger Shakespeare Library

The world's leading center for Shakespeare studies

Each edition includes:

• Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play

• Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play

• Scene-by-scene plot summaries

• A key to famous lines and phrases

• An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language

• An essay by an outstanding scholar providing a modern perspective on the play

• Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books

Essay by Susan Snyder

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:02 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

An ageing king makes a capricious decision to divide his realm among his three daughters according to the love they express for him. When the youngest daughter refuses to take part in this charade, she is banished, leaving the king dependent on her manipulative and untrustworthy sisters.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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