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This edition first published in 1966. Previous edition published 1965 by the University of California Press. Perhaps more than any other play of Shakespeare's King Lear has been subjected to almost totally contradictory interpretations. In the first historical section of the book the author describes the varying concepts of the play and the distortions of text and even plot that have been widely used. Garrick's playing of Lear as a pathetic and down-trodden old man. Laughton's and Olivier's versions and Herbert Blaus's theory of the 'subtext' are described and analysed. The central section of the book examines the medieval, folk and romance sources of the play. The final chapter illustrates how the action of the play and its pervading violence and evil are not explained in terms of human motive and rely for their meaning more on their effects than their antecedents. An important theme is the play's examination of society and the ties of service and family love.
Is King Lear an autonomous text, or a rewrite of the earlier and anonymous play King Leir? Should we refer to Shakespeare’s original quarto when discussing the play, the revised folio text, or the popular composite version, stitched together by Alexander Pope in 1725? What of its stage variations? When turning from page to stage, the critical view on King Lear is skewed by the fact that for almost half of the four hundred years the play has been performed, audiences preferred Naham Tate's optimistic adaptation, in which Lear and Cordelia live happily ever after. When discussing King Lear, the question of what comprises ‘the play’ is both complex and fragmentary. These issues of identity and authenticity across time and across mediums are outlined, debated, and considered critically by the contributors to this volume. Using a variety of approaches, from postcolonialism and New Historicism to psychoanalysis and gender studies, the leading international contributors to King Lear: New Critical Essays offer major new interpretations on the conception and writing, editing, and cultural productions of King Lear. This book is an up-to-date and comprehensive anthology of textual scholarship, performance research, and critical writing on one of Shakespeare's most important and perplexing tragedies. Contributors Include: R.A. Foakes, Richard Knowles, Tom Clayton, Cynthia Clegg, Edward L. Rocklin, Christy Desmet, Paul Cantor, Robert V. Young, Stanley Stewart and Jean R. Brink
This reissed edition of Longman Annotated Texts King Lear includes comprehensive notes, annotations and an introduction, all designed to be of use to undergraduates and interested readers. King Lear is one of Shakespeare's most widely studied tragedies. However, since the late 1970s textual scholars, critics and editors have argued that there is no single 'King Lear' text. Anyone studying the play needs to be aware of two different texts, one based on the quarto of 1608, The History of King Lear, and a revised version published in the first folio of 1623, The Tragedy of King Lear. This edition offers a fully annotated, modern spelling version of the texts set side by side, identifying and elucidating the major discrepancies between the two. It presents some possible reasons for the differences between the two texts, which themselves shed light on a number of issues relating to literary transmission in the Renaissance and give an insight into the nature of performance and censorship.
AN OBSERVER BEST DEBUT NOVELIST OF 2021 'Seductive . . . Gorgeous' The Times 'Gives voice to one of fiction's most conspicuously absent women' i Word has come. King Lear is dead. His three daughters too, broken in battle. But someone has survived: Lear’s queen. Though her grief and rage threaten to crack the earth open, she knows she must seek answers. Why was she exiled? What has happened to Kent, her oldest friend? And what will become of her now? To find peace she must reckon with her past and make a terrible choice – one upon which her destiny rests.
Here are the books that help teach Shakespeare plays without the teacher constantly needing to explain and define Elizabethan terms, slang, and other ways of expression that are different from our own. Each play is presented with Shakespeare's original lines on each left-hand page, and a modern, easy-to-understand "translation" on the facing right-hand page. All dramas are complete, with every original Shakespearian line, and a full-length modern rendition of the text. These invaluable teaching-study guides also include: Helpful background information that puts each play in its historical perspective. Discussion questions that teachers can use to spark student class participation, and which students can use as springboards for their own themes and term papers. Fact quizzes, sample examinations, and other features that improve student comprehension of what each play is about.
King Lear is a tragedy by Shakespeare, written about 1605 or 1606. Shakespeare based it on the legendary King Leir of the Britons, whose story is outlined in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s pseudohistorical History of the Kings of Britain (written in about 1136). The play tells the tale of the aged King Lear who is passing on the control of his kingdom to his three daughters. He asks each of them to express their love for him, and the first two, Goneril and Regan do so effusively, saying they love him above all things. But his youngest daughter, Cordelia, is compelled to be truthful and says that she must reserve some love for her future husband. Lear, enraged, cuts her off without any inheritance. The secondary plot deals with the machinations of Edmund, the bastard son of the Earl of Gloucester, who manages to convince his father that his legitimate son Edgar is plotting against him. After Lear steps down from power, he finds that his elder daughters have no real respect or love for him, and treat him and his followers as a nuisance. They allow the raging Lear to wander out into a storm, hoping to be rid of him, and conspire with Edmund to overthrow the Earl of Gloucester. The play is a moving study of the perils of old age and the true meaning of filial love. It ends tragically with the deaths of both Cordelia and Lear—so tragically, in fact, that performances during the Restoration period sometimes substituted a happy ending. In modern times, though, King Lear is performed as written and generally regarded as one of Shakespeare’s best plays. This Standard Ebooks edition is based on William George Clark and William Aldis Wright’s 1887 Victoria edition, which is taken from the Globe edition. This book is part of the Standard Ebooks project, which produces free public domain ebooks.