King Lear

King Lear
Dover Publications
Shakespeare, William
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First performed about 1605, "King Lear" is one of the most relentlessly bleak of Shakespeare`s tragedies. Probably written between "Othello" and "Macbeth", when the playwright was at the peak of his tragic power, "Lear`s" themes of filial ingratitude, injustice and the meaninglessness of life in a seemingly indifferent universe are explored with unsurpassed power and depth. The plot concerns a monarch betrayed by his daughters, robbed of his kingdom, descending into madness. Greed, treachery and cruelty are rife and the denouement of the play is both brutal and heartbreaking. In fact, so troubling is its vision of man`s life that, until the mid-19th century, the play was performed most often with a non-Shakespearean happy ending, with Lear back on his throne and Cordelia, the daughter nearest his heart, happily married to the noble Edgar. But there is a dark magnificence to Shakespeare`s original vision of the Lear story, and the play is performed today essentially as he...

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