2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:26
How was William Shakespeare's "King Lear" created? The plot of the great playwright borrowed from the medieval epic. One of the legends of Britain tells of a king who divided his possessions between his eldest daughters and left the youngest without an inheritance. Shakespeare put a simple story into a poetic form, added a few details to it, an original storyline, and introduced a couple of additional characters. The result is one of the greatest tragedies of world literature.
History of Creation
Shakespeare was inspired to write King Lear by a medieval legend. But the history of this legend begins in ancient times. Around the 14th century, the legend was translated from Latin into English. Shakespeare wrote his tragedy in 1606. It is known that at the end of the 16th century, the premiere of the play "The Tragic History of King Lear" took place in one of the British theaters. Some researchers believe that this is the work of Shakespeare, which he later renamed.
Anyway, the name of the author who wrote the tragedy at the end of the 16th century is unknown. However, according to some historical sources, Shakespeare completed work on King Lear in 1606. It was then that the first performance took place.
Summary of "King Lear" will be presented as follows:
- Inheritance section.
- In exile.
- Death of Lear.
The main character is a king who is tired of ruling. He decided to retire, but first the reins of government should be handed over to the children. King Lear has three daughters. How to divide the property between them? The protagonist makes, as it seems to him, a wise decision. He is going to bequeath to each of his daughters a property in proportion to her love, that is, the one who loves him the most will get the most part of the kingdom.
Older daughters begin to compete in flattery. The youngest - Cordelia - refuses to be hypocritical and declares that love does not need proof. Foolish Lear is angry. He drives Cordelia out of the court, and divides the kingdom between his eldest daughters. The Earl of Kent, who tried to stand up for his youngest daughter, also finds himself in disgrace.
Time passes, King Lear realizes that he has made a terrible mistake. The attitude of the daughters changes dramatically. They are no longer as courteous to their father as before. In addition, a political conflict is brewing in the kingdom, which also upsets Lear a lot.
Daughters drive their father away just as he once drove Cordelia away. Accompanied by the jester, Lear goes to the steppe. Here he meets Kent, Gloucester and Edgar. The last two heroes are missing from British legend, they are characters created by Shakespeare. The ungrateful daughters meanwhile develop a plan to eliminate their father. In addition to the main storyline, there is another one in Shakespeare's tragedy - the story of Gloucester and his son Edgar, who diligently pretends to be crazy.
Cordelia finds out how cruel her sisters were to her father. She gathers an army and leads it to the kingdom of the sisters. The battle begins. King Lear and his youngest daughter are taken prisoner. Edmund suddenly appears - the illegitimate son of Gloucester, whom the author mentions at the beginning of the tragedy. He tries to arrange the murder of Cordelia and her father. But he manages to carry out only part of the plan, namely to kill the youngest daughter of Lear. Then Edmund dies in a duel with his brother Edgar.
Death of Lear
All the daughters of King Lear die in the finale. The older one kills the middle one and then commits suicide. Cordelia is strangled in prison. King Lear goes free and dies of grief. By the way, Gloucester also dies. Edgar and Kent remain alive. The latter also does not feel love for life, but thanks to the persuasion of the Duke of Albany, he refuses the idea of stabbing himself with a dagger.
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