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King Lear


By Shakespeare King Lear When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools. - Lear, Act IV Scene 4 What does that mean? Dramatis Personae Lear ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: King Lear

King Lear
By Shakespeare
  • When we are born, we cry that we are come to this
    great stage of fools.
  • - Lear, Act IV Scene 4

What does that mean?
Dramatis Personae
  • Lear king of Britain
  • Goneril his eldest daughter
  • Regan his second daughter
  • Cordelia his youngest and favorite daughter
  • Albany Gonerils husband
  • Cornwall Regans husband
  • Kent a faithful nobleman
  • Gloucester another loyal nobleman
  • Edgar Gloucesters rightful son
  • Edmund a bastard of Gloucester
  • Fool a loyal clown who entertains Lear

Our story begins a long, long time ago, in a
place far, far away
  • Setting England
  • Time ??

Lear and his three daughters
At Lears castle
  • Lear decides to give up his throne and divide his
    kingdom among his three daughters
  • His daughter, Cordelia, has two suitors the
    king of France and duke of Burgundy
  • Lear asks his daughters how much they love him
  • Goneril and Regan flatter, but Cordelia says that
    she loves him no more than a daughter loves her
  • Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave my heart into
    my mouth I love your majesty according to my
    bond nor more nor less.

  • Angered, Lear disowns Cordelia and divides his
    kingdom between Goneril and Regan
  • Kent tries to defend Cordelia, but Lear banishes
    him from Britain
  • Lear gives Cordelia to the king of France, and
    though Cordelia is not happy about leaving her
    father with her sisters, she leaves England with
    her husband
  • Lear gives his power to Albany and Cornwall, the
    husbands of Goneril and Regan

The treachery begins
  • Lear settles down to live with Goneril with 100
    of his knights
  • Goneril tells her steward, Oswald, to be
    disrespectful towards Lear
  • Kent returns, disguised as a man named Caius and
    defends Lear
  • Goneril offends Lear and dismisses 50 of his
  • Lear is angered and storms out of Gonerils
    palace with his knights and Fool
  • He sends Caius (Kent) with a letter to Gloucester

  • Edmund shows his father Gloucester a forged
    letter that said that Edgar was planning to take
    over his lands
  • Edmund pretends to help Edgar, but is actually
    plotting to have Edgar removed
  • He persuades Edgar to flee and wounds himself to
    make it seem that Edgar attacked him
  • Gloucester is convinced and vows to capture Edgar

  • Kent (Caius) gets into a fight with Oswald
  • Cornwall and Regan break up the fight
  • The loyal Caius is placed in the stocks for 24
  • Lear arrives and demands that Caius Regan
    refuses, but allows Lear to stay at her palace
  • Regan dismisses all of Lears knights, and Lear
    leaves in anger

Lear goes insane
  • Goneril, Regan, and Cornwall are glad that Lear
    is gone, but Gloucester is worried for his kings
  • A storm approaches and Lear and his last servants
    (Caius and the Fool) walk into a health
  • Lear stands in the rain and curses his daughters

The storm builds up
  • Kent sends a man to Dover to tell Cordelia of her
    fathers plight
  • Kent brings Lear into a nearby cave, where they
    meet Edgar, who disguises himself as a madman
    (Poor Tom)
  • Gloucester then arrives and takes them to a
  • Edmund decides to betray his father

  • He tells Cornwall that Gloucester was helping
  • At the farmhouse, Gloucester tells Lear, the
    Fool, and Caius to flee because Cornwall was
    planning to kill them
  • Cornwall arrives and captures Gloucester
  • Gloucester is tortured, his eyes are ripped out
  • A servant wounds Cornwall and helps Gloucester
  • They meet Edgar (in disguise still as a madman)
    and Edgar leads his blind father the rest of the
    way to Dover, where a French army under Cordelia
    is stationed
  • Gloucester realizes that he had mistaken Edgar

Blind Gloucester
The plot tightens
  • On the way to Dover, Edgar and Gloucester meet
  • Edgar fights Oswald and kills him he finds a
    letter from Goneril to Edmund, telling him to
    kill Albany so that she could marry him
  • We learn that Cornwall had died from the wound,
    and the Regan is also in love with Edmund
  • There is conflict between sisters now

The storm breaks
  • At Dover, Cordelia sends a sentry to find her
  • Father and daughter are finally reunited
  • Lear is unconscious when they find him, but when
    he wakes, he recognizes Cordelia and asks for her

The final battle
  • The English and French are at war
  • At the English camp, Goneril argues with Albany
    and fights with Regan for Edmund
  • Albany decides to cooperate with Goneril and
    Regan only because of the French invasion
  • The French army under Cordelia loses, and she and
    her father are captured by the evil Edmund
  • Edmund sends them to jail and orders the captain
    to have both of them hanged

The ending
  • Edgar brings Gonerils letter to Albany, and he
    decides to fight against Goneril and Regan
  • Another battle occurs, and in the climactic
    scene, Edgar fights Edmund and wounds his evil
  • Edmund admits to all his crimes and repents
  • Meanwhile Goneril poisons her sister Regan and
    commits suicide herself after learning of
    Edmunds defeat

  • Edgar and Caius sent people to save Lear and
  • The save Lear, but they are too late for Cordelia
  • Lear enters, holding Cordelias body
  • Howl, howl, howl, howl! O! you are men of stones
    had I your tongues and eyes, I'd use them so that
    heaven's vaults should crack. She's gone for
    ever. I know when one is dead, and when one
    lives she's dead as earth. - Lear, Act V Scene 3
  • Edgar reveals himself to his dying father,
  • Caius reveals himself as Kent to Lear, who in
    grief over Cordelia finally recognizes his most
    loyal servant
  • Lear though is completely mad and dies of grief
    over his daughters death
  • Albany and Kent are left to restore order
    following the tragedy

Lear carrying Cordelia
The End
Questions to talk about
  • What is Lears weakness?
  • Was Cordelias answer to her father appropriate?
  • Why do you think Lear went insane?
  • Did Lear deserve what happened to him?
  • Who do you think displayed the greatest courage
    in the play?
  • Who do you feel the most sympathy for? Why?
  • Who do you think has the most admirable
  • Who is the true hero of the play?
  • What is the significance of insanity? What does
    it symbolize?
  • Do you see a parallel between different
  • How many people died in this play?
  • Where is the climax of the story?
  • What is the theme of the play?
  • Would the play have the same effect on you if it
    ended as they lived happily ever after? Do you
    think a tragic ending is better, or a happy one?