Mass Market Paperbound
June 1, 1998
Penguin Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0451526937
ISBN - 13: 9780451526939
Read from the Book
Chapter OneAct 1 Scene 1 running scene 1Enter Kent, Gloucester and EdmundKENT I thought the king had more affected the Duke of Albany than Cornwall.GLOUCESTER It did always seem so to us: but now in the division of the kingdom it appears not which of the dukes he values most, for qualities are so weighed that curiosity in neither can make choice of either's moiety.KENT Is not this your son, my lord?GLOUCESTER His breeding, sir, hath been at my charge. I have so often blushed to acknowledge him that now I am brazed to't.KENT I cannot conceive you.GLOUCESTER Sir, this young fellow's mother could; whereupon she grew round-wombed and had indeed, sir, a son for her cradle ere she had a husband for her bed. Do you smell a fault?KENT I cannot wish the fault undone, the issue of it being so proper.GLOUCESTER But I have a son, sir, by order of law, some year elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my account, though this knave came something saucily to the world before he was sent for: yet was his mother fair, there was good sport at his making and the whoreson must be acknowledged.- Do you know this noble gentleman, Edmund?EDMUND No, my lord.GLOUCESTER My lord of Kent: remember him hereafter as my honourable friend.EDMUND My services to your lordship.KENT I must love you, and sue to know you better.EDMUND Sir, I shall study deserving.GLOUCESTER He hath been out nine years, and away he shall again. The king is coming.Sennet. Enter [one bearing a coronet, then] King Lear, Cornwall, Al
Table of Contents
King Lear - William Shakespeare - Edited by Russell Fraser Samuel Johnson: From
?Preface to Shakespeare? and ?King Lear?
A. C. Bradley: From
Harley Granville-Barker: From
Prefaces to Shakespeare
Maynard Mack: From
?King Lear? in Our Time
Linda Bamber: The Woman Reader in ?King Lear?
Sylvan Barnet: ?King Lear? on the Stage and Screen
NEWLY ADDED ESSAYS:
John Russell Brown: Staging Violence in ?King Lear?
From the Publisher
[Lear] is the most awesome of all the poet's originals. No one else in Shakespeare is so legitimate a representation of supreme authority.
About the Author
William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School. At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry. By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true. Today, Shakespeare
From Our Editors
Brutal, moving, terrifying and beautiful, King Lear is considered by some critics to be the greatest play ever written in the English language. An aging ruler plans to divide his kingdom among his three daughters, but instead banishes the youngest - honest Cordelia - because she will not flatter him, and learns only too late that he has put his trust in false friends. This edition of the play brings together a wealth of critical material and top-notch annotation, and is ideal for both students and scholars.