King Lear by William ShakespeareKing Lear by William Shakespeare

King Lear

byWilliam ShakespeareEditorDr. Barbara A. Mowat, Paul Werstine

Mass Market Paperback | January 1, 2004

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Shakespeare’s King Lear challenges us with the magnitude, intensity, and sheer duration of the pain that it represents. Its figures harden their hearts, engage in violence, or try to alleviate the suffering of others. Lear himself rages until his sanity cracks. What, then, keeps bringing us back to King Lear? For all the force of its language, King Lear is almost equally powerful when translated, suggesting that it is the story, in large part, that draws us to the play.

The play tells us about families struggling between greed and cruelty, on the one hand, and support and consolation, on the other. Emotions are extreme, magnified to gigantic proportions. We also see old age portrayed in all its vulnerability, pride, and, perhaps, wisdom—one reason this most devastating of Shakespeare’s tragedies is also perhaps his most moving.

The authoritative edition of King Lear from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes:

-Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play

-Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play

-Scene-by-scene plot summaries

-A key to the play’s famous lines and phrases

-An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language

-An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play

-Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books

-An annotated guide to further reading

Essay by Susan Snyder

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is home to the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare’s printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit
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 Gra...
Title:King LearFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 6.75 × 4.19 × 1 inPublished:January 1, 2004Publisher:Simon & SchusterLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:074348276x

ISBN - 13:9780743482769

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing King Lear is probably one of my favourite Shakesperean plays. The No Fear Shakespear is a great tool.
Date published: 2018-08-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good edition This book is a great edition. Very good for the price.
Date published: 2018-07-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great help, would recommend I would recommend this to anyone in school or on their own who wants to become familiar with Shakespeare. It makes learning the phrases and language much easier. My very favourite Shakespeare play!!
Date published: 2018-07-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My fav Shakespeare book Story relates to most and my fav Shakespeare book. It's one of those books u don't want to put down. Story of complicated family dynamics and the pain and consequences that comes with it!
Date published: 2018-07-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from King Lear A story about family issues. Not my favourite Shakespeare play.
Date published: 2018-04-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from King Lear King Lear is about unconditional love and how family politics are a distraction from family itself.
Date published: 2017-11-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Play I read this for senior English and it was alright. It isn't my favourite Shakespeare play.
Date published: 2017-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Spectacular One of my all time favourite Shakespeare works. Up there with Merchant of Venice and Hamlet.
Date published: 2017-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent One of my all time favourite Shakespeare works. Up there with Merchant of Venice and Hamlet.
Date published: 2017-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great One of my all time favourite Shakespeare works. Up there with Merchant of Venice and Hamlet.
Date published: 2017-09-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from After 400 years, it still stands up A really interesting and engaging story, with values and lessons that we can still relate to today
Date published: 2017-08-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not Bad I studied this work for a literature class and had to act it out along with analyzing this piece. I had an incredible teacher, which explained many of the literary techniques the author uses. Yes this can be boring for many people, but it is certainly interesting for those who do appreciate this genre.
Date published: 2017-07-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Cool What a portrayal of madness
Date published: 2017-06-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Different every time Every time I read this play I see something else in the story. I have read it from a purely tragic point of view - not difficult. I have also read it looking for word play between the sisters. The rhetoric or persuasive language used by Goneril and Regan in King Lear demonstrates Jacques Derrida’s meaning of “trace” in his essay “Différance.” Goneril and Regan both profess to love their father above all others but Lear’s understanding of their protestations is delayed. It is not until much later in the play that Lear understands that despite their spoken devotion to him, they actually love themselves the best and they love him not at all. It is the delay of recognition that Derrida refers to when he speaks of the trace or the différance.Cordelia on the other hand, does love her father but does not lie like her sisters. Cordelia points out the duality of her sisters’ words but Lear is too vain and blind to see another possible meaning behind Goneril’s and Regan’s words and delays his own understanding until it is too late.
Date published: 2017-03-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not my favourite... Out of all the Shakespeare plays I've ever read, I think this was the most disappointing one. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't terrible but a lot of his other works are more dramatic and enjoyable. If you are a fan of Shakespeare though, you should give this a go. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing read. Taught me many things as well. Before I picked up this book I assumed that the abstract vocabulary would hinder my interest and assuming this book would be my least favourable inclination.. However, the content is very understandable and it is hands down my favourite play. There are many quotes that I remember and I have also learned a lot from King Lear. The epicentre of this book is that family love is all you got, and people can also be pretty deceptive - even if they are family.
Date published: 2017-01-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good I had to read this for school and enjoyed it. Not my favourite Shakespeare play though
Date published: 2017-01-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Love the Play, Hate the edition. I works for some people and it does not work for others.
Date published: 2016-12-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good, but not memorable Of all of the Shakespeare plays that I've read, I have a the hardest time remembering the plot of this one in particular. I remember enjoying it and that it felt like it was a great piece of literature, but I don't remember any of the characters outside of the title.
Date published: 2016-12-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It's Shakespeare. Enough Said. I find that Shakespeare can be extremely hard to understand. So, it is refreshing to read one of his plays in which you're not constantly referring back to Sparksnotes. I liked this play and found it semi-easy to understand. The play was good, but it wasn't somethig that I'd go out of my way to read. The characters were fresh and distinct. Lear's character is superficial at times, but completely appropriate to the story.
Date published: 2009-12-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great King Lear by William Shakespeare is an excellent play that is just like an Indian drama, with lies, deceit, betrayal, illegitimate sons and cruel intentions. Every Shakespeare fan must read this tragedy! King Lear decides to step down from his throne and divide his kingdom among his three daughters: Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia. Each daughter would receive her share of the land depending on her speech of how much she loves her father. Cordelia’s speech is honest, but King Lear does not like what he hears and disowns her. Her share of the kingdom is then divided between Goneril and Regan. Soon after abdicating the throne, Lear discovers the true feelings of Goneril and Regan.
Date published: 2008-10-26