King Lear - Literary Touchstone Classic

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Prestwick House Inc, 2006 - 120 pages
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To make King Lear more accessible to the modern reader, our Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Classic? provides in-depth explanations, as well as historical background. Convenient sidebar notes and an extensive glossary help the reader navigate the complexities of the text and enjoy the beauty of Shakespeare?s verse, the wisdom of his insights, and the impact of his drama.?Which of you shall we say doth love us most??With these reckless words, Lear, the aged king of ancient Britain begins a game that will tear apart his kingdom, his family, and his own sense of self, pitting sister against sister, rewarding flattery, and punishing integrity. Lear is unable to foresee the consequences that will follow from his choice.The loyal Duke of Gloucester is likewise blinded, figuratively and literally, by flattery and deceptions, and he also learns too late the price of misplaced trust.This tragedy of the foolish king?arguably Shakespeare?s greatest work?is a poignant examination of the complexities of human nature: wisdom and foolishness, vision and blindness, and true love and loyalty between parents and their children.
 

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Contents

ACT I
13
SCENE II
21
SCENE III
26
SCENE IV
27
SCENE V
36
ACT II
39
SCENE II
43
SCENE III
47
SCENE VI
71
ACT IV
75
SCENE II
77
SCENE III
80
SCENE IV
82
SCENE V
83
SCENE VI
84
SCENE VII
92

SCENE IV
48
ACT III
57
SCENE II
58
SCENE III
61
SCENE IV
62
SCENE V
67
ACT V
97
SCENE II
99
SCENE III
100
GLOSSARY AND VOCABULARY
111
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

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 towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.

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