This is a critical study of Shakespeare's "King Lear" for "A" level students.
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King Lear stands alongside Hamlet as one of the most profound expressions of tragic drama in literature. Written between 1604 and 1605, it represents Shakespeare at the height of his dramatic power. Drawing on ancient British history, Shakespeare constructs a plot that reads like a fable in its clear-sighted but terrifying simplicity. The ageing King Lear calls his daughters, Goneril, Regan and Cordelia to witness that he wishes "to shake all cares and business from our age" and divide his kingdom between his three children. When Cordelia refuses to flatter her father with sycophantic words of love, her banishment leads to chaos and civil war as Lear's disastrous "division of the kingdom" gives free reign to the greed and ambition of his two remaining daughters.
As Lear sinks into rage and madness he is deserted by everyone except his "bitter" Fool, the loyal Kent and the exiled Cordelia. The play descends into a nighmarish theatre of cruelty and absurdity as Lear realises he has "ta'en / Too little care" of the poverty and corruption of his kingdom, and his loyal but foolish friend Gloucester has his eyes gouged out. Metaphors of monstrosity and perversions of nature structure the dramatic action, and the play's ending remains one of the most harrowing in all of Shakespeare. Many see a profound despair and nihilism in King Lear, and would agree with Kent's conclusion that "All's cheerless, dark and deadly". Other writers have identified a radical but pessimistic critique of contemporary conceptions of kingship and absolutist authority, yet it remains a remarkable tragedy of public misjudgement and intensely private grief and anguish. --Jerry BrottonReview:
"...an exemplary consideration of all the new bibliographic explication...Halio has done an admirable job. If all editions of Shakespeare and his contemporaries were similarly conceived and presented, study and understanding of Elizabethan-Jacobean-Caroline drama would be greatly improved." William B. Long, TEXT: Transactions of the Society for Textual Scholarship
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Book Description Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1990. Book Condition: Good. (rev)72 Edition. N/A. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP13443684
Book Description Van Nostrand Reinhold. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Light shelf wear and minimal interior marks. Bookseller Inventory # G0174434677I3N00
Book Description Thomson Learning, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. King Lear (Arden Shakespeare) This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. . Bookseller Inventory # 7719-9780174434672
Book Description Van Nostrand Reinhold. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: Very Good. 0174434677 UK BASED SELLER - SHIPS DAILY. Bookseller Inventory # E0061842
Book Description Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1990. Paperback. Book Condition: Used: Good. Bookseller Inventory # SONG0174434677
Book Description Book Condition: Good. Book Condition: Good. Bookseller Inventory # 97801744346724.0