Random House Publishing Group, 2009 M08 4 - 272 pages
A king foolishly divides his kingdom between his scheming two oldest daughters and estranges himself from the daughter who loves him. So begins this profoundly moving and disturbing tragedy that, perhaps more than any other work in literature, challenges the notion of a coherent and just universe. The king and others pay dearly for their shortcomings–as madness, murder, and the anguish of insight and forgiveness that arrive too late combine to make this an all-embracing tragedy of evil and suffering.
Each Edition Includes:
• Comprehensive explanatory notes
• Vivid introductions and the most up-to-date scholarship
• Clear, modernized spelling and punctuation, enabling contemporary readers to understand the Elizabethan English
• Completely updated, detailed bibliographies and performance histories
• An interpretive essay on film adaptations of the play, along with an extensive filmography
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The death of Cordelia—Shakespeare's boldest alteration of his sources, in all of which she survives—was an extraordinary breach of the principal that Johnson called "poetical justice," whereby "a play in which the wicked prosper, ...
... has deprived him of the benefits of society. His first soliloquy makes a good case for the unfairness of a social order that practices primogeniture and stigmatizes bastardy; his discovery near the moment of death x INTRODUCTION.
geniture and stigmatizes bastardy; his discovery near the moment of death that "Edmund was beloved" is curiously touching. He is not, then, an uncomplicated stage "Machiavel," an embodiment of pure, unmotivated evil.
... to make order out of chaos, but each of his resolutions is followed by new disaster: he greets the restored Edgar, then immediately hears the news of Gloucester's death, then the news of the two queens' deaths; then Kent comes on, ...
The death of Cordelia is all the more painful because it is not the end "promised" by previous literary and theatrical tradition. King Lear is a play full of questions. The big ones go unanswered. The biggest of all is Lear's "Why ...
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - thornton37814 - LibraryThing
This full-cast audio recording tells the story of King Lear who unwisely divided his inheritance based on his perception of how much each daughter loved him. We see how this leads to a life of ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Kristelh - LibraryThing
I read (listened) to this after reading A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley. I enjoyed both very much. Read full review
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