'By far the best edition of King Lear - in respect of both textual and other matters - that we now have.' John Lyon, English Language Notes 'This volume is a treasure-trove of precise information and stimulating comments on practically every aspect of the Lear-universe. I know of no other edition which I would recommend with such confidence: to students, professional colleagues and also the 'educated public'.' Dieter Mehl, Shakespeare Jahrbuch, vol 134
FOLGER Shakespeare Library The world's leading center for Shakespeare studies "Each edition includes: " - Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play - Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play - Scene-by-scene plot summaries - A key to famous lines and phrases - An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language - An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play - Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books "Essay by" Susan Snyder The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is home to theworld's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet forShakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open tothe public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performancesand programs. For more information, visit www.folger.edu
First performed about 1805, 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 wrote it, uncompromised by later "improvements." King Lear is reprinted here from an authoritative British edition, complete with explanatory footnotes.
King Lear, one of Shakespeare's darkest and most savage plays, tells the story of the foolish and Job-like Lear, who divides his kingdom, as he does his affections, according to vanity and whim. Lear's failure as a father engulfs himself and his world in turmoil and tragedy.