Shakespeare's King Lear

Shakespeare's King Lear

With Introduction, Notes, and Examination Papers (Selected) (Classic Reprint)

by William Shakespeare

Hardback Publication Date: 22/04/2018

Excerpt from Shakespeare's King Lear: With Introduction, Notes, and Examination Papers (Selected) Shakespeare also appears to have taken some hints - as he was ready to take hints and suggestions from every quarter - from an older play, first acted in 1593, called T be T rue Clrronicle History of King Leir and bis three Daugh ters, Gonorill, Ragan, and Cordella. (the form Cordelia, Shakespeare took from Spenser.) It may be added that, in the reign of Charles IL, when taste and literature were at their lowest ebb, this play of Shakespeare was 'adapted to the stage by two of the worst poets that England ever produced - Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brady - whose met tical version of the Psalms was in use for nearly two cen tuties. With the story of kinglear, Shakespeare has in terwoven the tale of another father and an unfilial son the Duke of Gloucester and Edmund - which he found in the Arcadia of Sir Philip Sidney (published in It is there called The pitifull state, and storie of the Paphla gonian vnkinde King, and his kind sonne, first related by the son, then by the blind father.' The introduction of this ad ditional story into the more simple narrative of King Lear, has served two good purposes, (a) the misery of Gloumeter serves as a measure of the vaster and deeper ai diction of the king, and (b) it has enabled Shakespeare to find motives - to manage the motivation of the play more easily. Thus, the assistance given by Gloucester to the old king supplies the Duke of Cornwall with a motive for punishing him, and for promoting his son Edmund. Both stories are, of course, the mere canvas upon which Shakespeare painted his picture. In modern times, the play of the Spanish Gypsy, by George Eliot, has the same subject.

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William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, in 1564. The date of his birth is unknown but is celebrated on 23 April, which happens to be St George's Day, and the day in 1616 on which Shakespeare died.

Aged eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. They had three children. Around 1585 William joined an acting troupe on tour in Stratford from London, and thereafter spent much of his life in the capital. By 1595 he had written five of his history plays, six comedies and his first tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. In all, he wrote thirty-seven plays and much poetry, and earned enormous fame in his own lifetime in prelude to his immortality.

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