King Lear: General Introduction
The epic tragedy, King Lear, has often been regarded as Shakespeare's greatest masterpiece, if not the crowning achievement of any dramatist in Western literature. This introduction to King Lear will provide students with a general overview of the play and its primary characters, in addition to selected essay topics. Studying a Shakespearean play deepens students' appreciation for all literature and facilitates both their understanding of themes and symbolism in literary works and their recognition of effective characterization and stylistic devices.
Dozens of versions of the tale of old Lear were readily available to Shakespeare and shaped the main plot of his own drama. However, it is clear that Shakespeare relied chiefly on King Leir, fully titled The True Chronicle History of King Leir, and his three daughters, Gonorill, Ragan, and Cordella, the anonymous play published twelve years before the first recorded performance of Shakespeare's King Lear. Exploring what changes Shakespeare made to the drama is an excellent way to gain a full understanding of King Lear.
How to cite this article:
Mabillard, Amanda. King Lear General Introduction. Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2000. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/kinglear/kinglearintro.html >.
King Lear: The Complete Play and Fast Facts
King Lear: Analysis by Act and Scene
Aesthetic and Textual Examination Questions on King Lear
Blank Verse in King Lear
King Lear Lecture Notes and Study Topics
The First Publication of King Lear
The Fool in King Lear and his Function in the Play
The Shakespeare Sisterhood: Cordelia
The Condition of Lear's Mind
Goneril: Physically, Intellectually, and Morally
Difficult Passages in King Lear
Scene-by-Scene Questions on King Lear with Answers
King Lear Summary
King Lear Essay Topics
King Lear Character Introduction
Sources for King Lear
Representations of Nature in Shakespeare's King Lear
King Lear: FAQ
Famous Quotations from King Lear
Pronouncing Shakespearean Names
Shakespeare's Metaphors and Similes
Shakespeare's Reputation in Elizabethan England
Shakespeare's Impact on Other Writers
Why Study Shakespeare?
What is Tragic Irony?
Characteristics of Elizabethan Drama