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King Lear PDF
King Lear PDF
No. Of Pages: 131
PDF Size: 980 KB
Language: English
Category: Ebooks and Novels

King Lear Summary

Lear, Britain’s old monarch, chooses to abdicate his throne and divide his realm equally among his three daughters. But first, he puts each of his daughters to the test, asking them to tell him how much they love him. Lear’s oldest daughters, Goneril and Regan, provide favourable responses to their father. However, Cordelia, Lear’s youngest and favourite daughter, remains deafeningly silent, claiming that she lacks the words to express her love for her father. In a fit of fury, Lear disowns Cordelia. The king of France, who has courted Cordelia, states that even without her land, he still wants to marry her, and she goes to France without her father’s permission.

Lear suddenly realises that he made a mistake. Goneril and Regan quickly begin to erode what little power Lear still wields. Lear gradually goes mad, unable to accept that his beloved daughters are abandoning him. He leaves his daughters’ homes and walks on a heath with his Fool and Kent, a loyal nobleman in disguise, in the middle of a storm.

King Lear PDF
King Lear PDF

In the meantime, an elderly aristocrat named Gloucester is dealing with family issues. Edmund, his illegitimate son, dupes him into believing that Edgar, his genuine son, is attempting to murder him. Edgar disguises himself as a crazed beggar and goes under the moniker “Poor Tom” to avoid his father’s pursuit. He walks out into the heath, much like Lear.

When Gloucester discovers that Lear’s daughters have turned against him, he chooses to assist Lear despite the peril. When Regan and her husband, Cornwall, find him assisting Lear, they accuse him of treason, blind him, and send him out into the wilderness to wander. His disguised son, Edgar, eventually leads him to the city of Dover, where Lear has also been transported.

In an attempt to save her father, a French army lands in Dover as part of Cordelia’s invasion. Edmund appears to fall in love with both Regan and Goneril, whose husband, Albany, is becoming increasingly sympathetic to Lear’s cause. Edmund and Goneril plan to assassinate Albany.

Gloucester attempts suicide, but Edgar saves him by performing a weird trick and leading him down an imagined precipice. Meanwhile, the English forces arrive in Dover, and Edmund leads them to victory against the Cordelia-led French. Lear and Cordelia have been apprehended. Edgar duels with and kills Edmund in the climactic scene; we learn of Gloucester’s death; Goneril poisons Regan out of jealousy over Edmund and then kills herself when her treachery is revealed to Albany; Edmund’s betrayal of Cordelia leads to her needless execution in prison; and Lear dies of grief over Cordelia’s death. Under a veil of sadness and regret, Albany, Edgar, and the old Kent are left to care for the nation.

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