King Lear by William Shakespeare
Ive read Lear many times, and, although I didnt learn much about the play this reading, I did learn a little about myself. I have always loved the play, but in the past I found its injustice and evil nigh overpowering, its victims pathetically guiltless, its perspective verging on the nihilistic. Now, though, I see goodness and grace everywhere: in Cordelias plain-spoken honesty and love for Lear, in Kent and Glosters loyalty, in Edgars bizarre attempt to heal his fathers soul through stratagem, and--perhaps most important--in the way Lear himself grows in understanding and compassion even as he grows in grief and madness.
The bad guys have their moments too: the devotion of Oswald to Goneril, Edmunds tardy but apparently sincere attempt to save Cordelia and Lears lives, and--my favorite--the heroic effort of Cornwalls servant to intervene in the blinding of Gloster by wounding the vicious master whom he has served loyally all his life.
Goodness seems to triumph here even in the midst of loss, and I no longer feel the evil to be overwhelming: I merely bow my head in thanksgiving for goodness and tremble in reverence before the mystery of life.
Shakespeare play about an old ruler with three daughters
King Lear : Plot Summary The story opens in ancient Britain, where the elderly King Lear is deciding to give up his power and divide his realm amongst his three daughters, Cordelia, Regan, and Goneril. Lear's plan is to give the largest piece of his kingdom to the child who professes to love him the most, certain that his favorite daughter, Cordelia, will win the challenge. Goneril and Regan, corrupt and deceitful, lie to their father with sappy and excessive declarations of affection. Cordelia, however, refuses to engage in Lear's game, and replies simply that she loves him as a daughter should. Her lackluster retort, despite its sincerity, enrages Lear, and he disowns Cordelia completely. When Lear's dear friend, the Earl of Kent, tries to speak on Cordelia's behalf, Lear banishes him from the kingdom.
Thousand of performances of William Shakespeare's plays have been staged since the end of the 16th century. While Shakespeare was alive, many of his greatest plays were performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men and King's Men acting companies at the Globe and Blackfriars Theatres. Shakespeare's plays continued to be staged after his death until the Interregnum — , when most public stage performances were banned by the Puritan rulers. After the English Restoration , Shakespeare's plays were performed in playhouses, with elaborate scenery, and staged with music, dancing, thunder, lightning, wave machines, and fireworks. During this time the texts were "reformed" and "improved" for the stage, an undertaking which has seemed shockingly disrespectful to posterity. Victorian productions of Shakespeare often sought pictorial effects in "authentic" historical costumes and sets.
King Leir is an anonymous Elizabethan play about the life of the ancient Brythonic king Leir of Britain. It was published in but was entered into the Stationers' Register on 15 May The records of theatre impresario Philip Henslowe show that King Leir was performed on 6 and 8 April at the Rose Theatre , by a cast that combined personnel from two acting companies, Queen Elizabeth's Men and Sussex's Men. Other records claim that the play was often acted, though these two are the only specific performances known. It has been suggested that Shakespeare, who was a player in the Queen's company of the s, may have actually performed in King Leir.
Although it was grouped among the comedies,  some modern editors have relabelled the play as one of Shakespeare's late romances. Some critics consider it to be one of Shakespeare's " problem plays " because the first three acts are filled with intense psychological drama, while the last two acts are comedic and supply a happy ending. The play has been intermittently popular, revived in productions in various forms and adaptations by some of the leading theatre practitioners in Shakespearean performance history , beginning after a long interval with David Garrick in his adaptation Florizel and Perdita first performed in and published in The Winter's Tale was revived again in the 19th century, when the fourth " pastoral " act was widely popular. In the second half of the 20th century, The Winter's Tale in its entirety, and drawn largely from the First Folio text, was often performed, with varying degrees of success. Following a brief setup scene the play begins with the appearance of two childhood friends: Leontes, King of Sicilia , and Polixenes, the King of Bohemia. Polixenes is visiting the kingdom of Sicilia, and is enjoying catching up with his old friend.