The Tragedy of King Lear
William Shakespeare
Novels
2:57 h
Level 10
King Lear is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare. There are two versions, but modern editors usually conflate these to produce a single play. Both versions are based on the mythological Leir of Britain. King Lear relinquishes his power and land to two of his daughters. He becomes destitute and insane and a proscribed crux of political machinations.

The Tragedy of King Lear

by
William Shakespeare


Dramatis Personae

The Earl of Kent
Earl of Gloucester
Edmund
Lear, King of Britain
Goneril

Regan
Cordelia
Duke of Albany
The Duke of Cornwall
Duke of Burgundy

The King of France
Edgar
Oswald
The Fool
A Knight

Gentlemen
Curan
First Servant to Cornwall
Second Servant to Cornwall
The Third Servant
Messenger

Old Man, tenant to Gloucester.
Physician
The Captain
Herald
An officer employed by Edmund
Narrator


Scene: Britain

Act I

Scene I. A Room of State in King Lear’s Palace

Enter Kent, Gloucester and Edmund.

KENT.
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 soweighed 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 oftenblush’d to acknowledge him that now I am braz’d to’t.

KENT.
I cannot conceive you.