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Considered one of Shakespeare's greatest plays, The Tragedy of King Lear is based on the life of King Leir, a legendary king of Britain who is said to have had the longest reign of all that line of monarchs at sixty years. In Shakespeare's tale, Lear decides the time has come to abdicate his throne and divide the kingdom among his three daughters. He devises a contest by which the lands will be divided according to how successfully each daughter professes her love for the old king in speech. The plan misfires, however, when Lear's youngest daughter Cordelia refuses to participate on the grounds that it would cheapen her true feelings to flatter the king for mere profit. In a fit of rage, the old man banishes Cordelia and divides her inheritance between the two older daughters. The error of this decision soon becomes evident when the two remaining heirs turn on one another, war erupts, and the fate of Lear's kingdom rests in the hands of Cordelia and her new husband, the King of France.

The role of Lear was originally portrayed by Richard Burbage and has since been played by many famous actors including Thomas Betterton, David Garrick, Edmund Kean, Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Orson Welles, Christopher Plummer, and Ian McKellen.
 
 
Considered one of Shakespeare's greatest plays, The Tragedy of King Lear is based on the life of King Leir, a legendary king of Britain who is said to have had the longest reign of all that line of monarchs at sixty years. In Shakespeare's tale, Lear decides the time has come to abdicate his throne and divide the kingdom among his three daughters. He devises a contest by which the lands will be divided according to how successfully each daughter professes her love for the old king in speech. The plan misfires, however, when Lear's youngest daughter Cordelia refuses to participate on the grounds that it would cheapen her true feelings to flatter the king for mere profit. In a fit of rage, the old man banishes Cordelia and divides her inheritance between the two older daughters. The error of this decision soon becomes evident when the two remaining heirs turn on one another, war erupts, and the fate of Lear's kingdom rests in the hands of Cordelia and her new husband, the King of France.

The role of Lear was originally portrayed by Richard Burbage and has since been played by many famous actors including Thomas Betterton, David Garrick, Edmund Kean, Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Orson Welles, Christopher Plummer, and Ian McKellen. More...

 
    Shakespeare, England's National Poet
  Shakespeare, England's National Poet
William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His extant works,...
 
       
 
         
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