Cover image for King Lear
Title:
King Lear
Author:
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
Edition:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
Woodbury, N.Y. : Barron's, 1986.
Physical Description:
314 pages ; 19 cm.
Summary:
Presents the original text of Shakespeare's play side by side with a modern version, discusses the author and the theater of his time, and provides quizzes and other study activities.
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780812036374
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

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:



1. Helpful background information that puts each play in its historical perspective.



2. 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.



3. Fact quizzes, sample examinations, and other features that improve student comprehension of what each play is about.


Author Notes

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School.

At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry.

By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true.

Today, Shakespeare towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play.

Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Library Journal Review

This must be a case of opposites attracting, as Yale releases another duo in its ongoing annotated Shakespeare series. Here the Bard's heaviest drama is paired with one of his lightest comedies. These also include textual notes, essays by Harold Bloom, and other extras. Great for the price. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-These books depict Shakespeare's plays through black-and-white paneled storytelling. Much Ado is set in Italy during the late 1800s, using Victorian clothing to set the scene. Vieceli uses different styles of manga art with great effect, from "chibi" or "super-deformed" characters to show excessive cuteness or childish banter to the dramatic, overflowing tears that exaggerate a character's grief. This play is an excellent choice for adaptation, given its comedic moments and over-the-top emotions, and Appignanesi adapts it beautifully. King Lear is more challenging to convert to the style, made no less so by the choice of setting: the North American frontier, with Lear himself cast as an Algonquin chief. The traitorous Edmund is cast as one of the few African Americans. He is more sympathetic than in other productions, but he remains a villain. Ilya works hard to wrap real historical and cultural details into the panels, attempting authenticity instead of stereotypical images that too often accompany Native Americans in comics. However, there are some questions about the accuracy of the appearance of the fools particularly; they are costumed as "clowns," one with a vaguely Southwestern appearance and the other wearing the entire hide of a wolf. In addition, Ilya places some gratuitous nudity and cleavage into the script, and the depiction of Lear's daughter Regan as sometimes pale and sometimes dark-skinned is confusing. Still, both books are likely to draw manga readers further into Shakespeare's plays, and students of the Bard may get new ideas about how his works can be presented to modern audiences.-Alana Abbott, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

If this volume is representative of the ``Text and Performance'' series as a whole, these study guides should gain the respect of American teachers of Renaissance drama. The King Lear is certainly to be recommended, and not only for undergraduate literature and theater majors. Salga-do makes the stage history of Lear both interesting in itself and the context for a comprehensive summary of the problems of textual and dramatic interpretation. His treatment of the critical approaches to the play and key aspects of its structure, style, and characterization in Part 1 (text) is basic without being in the least condescending. In Part 2 (performance) he examines how these have been handled in four modern productions: the Old Vic's (1940), Peter Brook's (1962), Trevor Nunn's (1968), and Kozintsev's film version (1970). Unlike the typical study guide, this book has neither a text of the play nor the all-too-familiar paraphrases and glosses. The author describes rather than interprets, which requires students to read and paraphrase for themselves. And since passages are analyzed selectively to show range of style and differences of purpose and effect, students are alerted to possibility rather than told what to see and believe. Despite its brevity the amount of coverage is impressive indeed. The style is lively and at times even elegant. For undergraduate and community college students.-R.P. Griffin, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale


Excerpts

Excerpts

Chapter One Act 1 Scene 1 running scene 1 Enter Kent, Gloucester and Edmund KENT I thought the king had more affected the Duke of Albany than Cornwall. GLOUCESTER It did always seem so to us: but now in the division of the kingdom it appears not which of the dukes he values most, for qualities are so weighed that curiosity in neither can make choice of either's moiety. KENT Is not this your son, my lord? GLOUCESTER His breeding, sir, hath been at my charge. I have so often blushed to acknowledge him that now I am brazed to't. KENT I cannot conceive you. GLOUCESTER Sir, this young fellow's mother could; whereupon she grew round-wombed and had indeed, sir, a son for her cradle ere she had a husband for her bed. Do you smell a fault? KENT I cannot wish the fault undone, the issue of it being so proper. GLOUCESTER But I have a son, sir, by order of law, some year elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my account, though this knave came something saucily to the world before he was sent for: yet was his mother fair, there was good sport at his making and the whoreson must be acknowledged.- Do you know this noble gentleman, Edmund? EDMUND No, my lord. GLOUCESTER My lord of Kent: remember him hereafter as my honourable friend. EDMUND My services to your lordship. KENT I must love you, and sue to know you better. EDMUND Sir, I shall study deserving. GLOUCESTER He hath been out nine years, and away he shall again. The king is coming. Sennet. Enter [one bearing a coronet, then] King Lear, Cornwall, Albany, Goneril, Regan, Cordelia and Attendants LEAR Attend the lords of France and Burgundy, Gloucester. GLOUCESTER I shall, my lord. Exit LEAR Meantime we shall express our darker purpose. Give me the map there. Kent or an Attendant gives Lear a map Know that we have divided In three our kingdom, and 'tis our fast intent To shake all cares and business from our age, Conferring them on younger strengths while we Unburdened crawl toward death. Our son of Cornwall, And you our no less loving son of Albany, We have this hour a constant will to publish Our daughters' several dowers, that future strife May be prevented now. The princes, France and Burgundy, Great rivals in our youngest daughter's love, Long in our court have made their amorous sojourn And here are to be answered. Tell me, my daughters - Since now we will divest us both of rule, Interest of territory, cares of state - Which of you shall we say doth love us most, That we our largest bounty may extend Where nature doth with merit challenge? Goneril, Our eldest born, speak first. GONERIL Sir, I love you more than word can wield the matter, Dearer than eyesight, space and liberty, Beyond what can be valued rich or rare, No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, honour: As much as child e'er loved or father found: A love that makes breath poor and speech unable: Beyond all manner of so much I love you. CORDELIA What shall Cordelia speak? Love and be silent. Aside LEAR Of all these bounds, even from this line to this, Points With shadowy forests and with champaigns riched, to the map With plenteous rivers and wide-skirted meads, We make thee lady. To thine and Albany's issues Be this perpetual.- What says our second daughter? Our dearest Regan, wife of Cornwall? REGAN I am made of that self-mettle as my sister, And prize me at her worth. In my true heart, I find she names my very deed of love: Only she comes too short, that I profess Myself an enemy to all other joys Which the most precious square of sense professes, And find I am alone felicitate In your dear highness' love. CORDELIA Then poor Cordelia: Aside And yet not so, since I am sure my love's More ponderous than my tongue. LEAR To thee and thine hereditary ever Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom, No less in space, validity and pleasure Than that conferred on Goneril.- Now, our joy, To Cordelia Although our last and least, to whose young love The vines of France and milk of Burgundy Strive to be interessed, what can you say to draw A third more opulent than your sisters'? Speak. CORDELIA Nothing, my lord. LEAR Nothing? CORDELIA Nothing. LEAR Nothing will come of nothing: speak again. CORDELIA Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty According to my bond, no more nor less. LEAR How, how, Cordelia? Mend your speech a little, Lest you may mar your fortunes. CORDELIA Good my lord, You have begot me, bred me, loved me: I return those duties back as are right fit, Obey you, love you and most honour you. Why have my sisters husbands if they say They love you all? Happily when I shall wed, That lord whose hand must take my plight shall carry Half my love with him, half my care and duty: Sure I shall never marry like my sisters. LEAR But goes thy heart with this? CORDELIA Ay, my good lord. LEAR So young and so untender? CORDELIA So young, my lord, and true. LEAR Let it be so: thy truth then be thy dower, For by the sacred radiance of the sun, The mysteries of Hecate and the night, By all the operation of the orbs From whom we do exist and cease to be, Here I disclaim all my paternal care, Propinquity and property of blood, And as a stranger to my heart and me Hold thee from this for ever. The barbarous Scythian, Or he that makes his generation messes To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom Be as well neighboured, pitied and relieved As thou my sometime daughter. KENT Good my liege- LEAR Peace, Kent: Come not between the dragon and his wrath. I loved her most, and thought to set my rest On her kind nursery.- Hence, and avoid my sight!- To So be my grave my peace, as here I give Cordelia Her father's heart from her. Call France. Who stirs? Call Burgundy.- Cornwall and Albany, [Exit Attendant] With my two daughters' dowers digest the third. Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her. I do invest you jointly with my power, Pre-eminence, and all the large effects That troop with majesty. Ourself by monthly course, With reservation of an hundred knights By you to be sustained, shall our abode Make with you by due turn: only we shall retain The name and all th'addition to a king: the sway, Revenue, execution of the rest, Belovèd sons, be yours, which to confirm, This coronet part between you. Gives them coronet to break in half KENT Royal Lear, Whom I have ever honoured as my king, Loved as my father, as my master followed, As my great patron thought on in my prayers- LEAR The bow is bent and drawn, make from the shaft. KENT Let it fall rather, though the fork invade The region of my heart: be Kent unmannerly When Lear is mad. What wouldst thou do, old man? Think'st thou that duty shall have dread to speak When power to flattery bows? To plainness honour's bound When majesty falls to folly. Reserve thy state, And in thy best consideration check This hideous rashness. Answer my life my judgement: Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least, Nor are those empty-hearted whose low sounds Reverb no hollowness. LEAR Kent, on thy life, no more. KENT My life I never held but as pawn To wage against thine enemies, ne'er fear to lose it, Thy safety being motive. LEAR Out of my sight! KENT See better, Lear, and let me still remain The true blank of thine eye. LEAR Now, by Apollo- KENT Now, by Apollo, king, Thou swear'st thy gods in vain. LEAR O, vassal! Miscreant! Puts his hand on his sword or attacks Kent ALBANY and CORDELIA Dear sir, forbear. KENT Kill thy physician, and thy fee bestow Upon the foul disease. Revoke thy gift, Or whilst I can vent clamour from my throat, I'll tell thee thou dost evil. LEAR Hear me, recreant, on thine allegiance hear me! That thou hast sought to make us break our vows, Which we durst never yet, and with strained pride To come betwixt our sentences and our power, Which nor our nature nor our place can bear, Our potency made good, take thy reward: Five days we do allot thee for provision To shield thee from disasters of the world, And on the sixth to turn thy hated back Upon our kingdom: if on the next day following Thy banished trunk be found in our dominions, The moment is thy death. Away! By Jupiter, This shall not be revoked. KENT Fare thee well, king: sith thus thou wilt appear, Freedom lives hence and banishment is here.- The gods to their dear shelter take thee, maid, To Cordelia That justly think'st, and hast most rightly said.- And your large speeches may your deeds approve, To Goneril That good effects may spring from words of love. and Regan Thus Kent, O princes, bids you all adieu. He'll shape his old course in a country new. Exit Flourish. Enter Gloucester with France and Burgundy, Attendants CORDELIA Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord. LEAR My lord of Burgundy, We first address toward you, who with this king Hath rivalled for our daughter: what in the least Will you require in present dower with her, Or cease your quest of love? BURGUNDY Most royal majesty, I crave no more than hath your highness offered, Nor will you tender less. LEAR Right noble Burgundy, When she was dear to us, we did hold her so, But now her price is fallen. Sir, there she stands: If aught within that little seeming substance, Or all of it, with our displeasure pieced, And nothing more, may fitly like your grace, She's there, and she is yours. BURGUNDY I know no answer. LEAR Will you, with those infirmities she owes, Unfriended, new-adopted to our hate, Dowered with our curse and strangered with our oath, Take her or leave her? BURGUNDY Pardon me, royal sir: Election makes not up in such conditions. LEAR Then leave her, sir, for by the power that made me, I tell you all her wealth.- For you, great king, To France I would not from your love make such a stray To match you where I hate, therefore beseech you T'avert your liking a more worthier way Than on a wretch whom nature is ashamed Almost t'acknowledge hers. FRANCE This is most strange, That she whom even but now was your object, The argument of your praise, balm of your age, The best, the dearest, should in this trice of time Commit a thing so monstrous to dismantle So many folds of favour. Sure her offence Must be of such unnatural degree That monsters it, or your fore-vouched affection Fall into taint, which to believe of her Must be a faith that reason without miracle Should never plant in me. CORDELIA I yet beseech your majesty - If for I want that glib and oily art To speak and purpose not, since what I will intend I'll do't before I speak - that you make known It is no vicious blot, murder, or foulness, No unchaste action or dishonoured step That hath deprived me of your grace and favour, But even for want of that for which I am richer: A still-soliciting eye and such a tongue That I am glad I have not, though not to have it Hath lost me in your liking. LEAR Better thou hadst Not been born than not t'have pleased me better. FRANCE Is it but this? A tardiness in nature, Which often leaves the history unspoke That it intends to do? My lord of Burgundy, What say you to the lady? Love's not love When it is mingled with regards that stands Aloof from th'entire point. Will you have her? She is herself a dowry. BURGUNDY Royal king, To Lear Give but that portion which yourself proposed, And here I take Cordelia by the hand, Duchess of Burgundy. LEAR Nothing: I have sworn: I am firm. BURGUNDY I am sorry, then, you have so lost a father To Cordelia That you must lose a husband. CORDELIA Peace be with Burgundy. Since that respect and fortunes are his love, I shall not be his wife. FRANCE Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich being poor, Most choice forsaken, and most loved despised, Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon: Be it lawful, I take up what's cast away. Takes her hand Gods, gods! 'Tis strange that from their cold'st neglect My love should kindle to inflamed respect.- Thy dowerless daughter, king, thrown to my chance, Is queen of us, of ours and our fair France: Not all the dukes of wat'rish Burgundy Can buy this unprized precious maid of me.- Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind. Thou losest here, a better where to find. LEAR Thou hast her, France: let her be thine, for we Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see That face of hers again. Therefore be gone Without our grace, our love, our benison. Come, noble Burgundy. Flourish. Exeunt. [France and the sisters remain] FRANCE Bid farewell to your sisters. CORDELIA The jewels of our father, with washèd eyes Cordelia leaves you. I know you what you are, And like a sister am most loath to call Your faults as they are named. Love well our father: To your professèd bosoms I commit him, But yet, alas, stood I within his grace, I would prefer him to a better place. So farewell to you both. REGAN Prescribe not us our duty. GONERIL Let your study Be to content your lord who hath received you At fortune's alms. You have obedience scanted, And well are worth the want that you have wanted. CORDELIA Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides: Who covers faults, at last with shame derides. Well may you prosper. FRANCE Come, my fair Cordelia. Exit France and Cordelia GONERIL Sister, it is not little I have to say of what most nearly appertains to us both. I think our father will hence tonight. REGAN That's most certain, and with you: next month with us. GONERIL You see how full of changes his age is: the observation we have made of it hath not been little. He always loved our sister most, and with what poor judgement he hath now cast her off appears too grossly. REGAN 'Tis the infirmity of his age: yet he hath ever but slenderly known himself. GONERIL The best and soundest of his time hath been but rash. Then must we look from his age to receive not alone the imperfections of long-engrafted condition, but therewithal the unruly waywardness that infirm and choleric years bring with them. REGAN Such unconstant starts are we like to have from him as this of Kent's banishment. GONERIL There is further compliment of leave-taking between France and him. Pray you let us sit together: if our father carry authority with such disposition as he bears, this last surrender of his will but offend us. REGAN We shall further think of it. GONERIL We must do something, and i'th'heat. Exeunt Act 1 Scene 2 running scene 2 Enter Bastard [Edmund] With a letter Excerpted from King Lear by William Shakespeare, William Shakespeare All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 6
William Shakespeare: life, plays, theater, versep. 8
King Lear: date, sources, textp. 15
King Lear
Original text and modern versionp. 17
Activitiesp. 286
Charactersp. 286
Structure, themes and imageryp. 301
Textual questionsp. 305
Examination questionsp. 309
One-word-answer quizp. 311
What's missing?p. 313