King Lear: A Tragedy
King Lear is driven to the brink of madness by his own actions when he disinherits his youngest daughter, the lovely Cordelia, because of her inability to express her love for him. Having divided his realm between his remaining daughters, Goneril and Regan, Lear is betrayed by his two foolish and deceitful children, and is left to wander the heath with only his Fool, his servant Caius, and the madman Tom O’Bedlam for company. Eventually reunited with Cordelia, Lear is too late repents his rashness, and must face the tragic consequences of his choices.
Known as “The Bard of Avon,” William Shakespeare is arguably the greatest English-language writer known. Enormously popular during his life, Shakespeare’s works continue to resonate more than three centuries after his death, as has his influence on theatre and literature. Shakespeare’s innovative use of character, language, and experimentation with romance as tragedy served as a foundation for later playwrights and dramatists, and some of his most famous lines of dialogue have become part of everyday speech.
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LEAR Nothing will come of nothing. Speak again.  CORDELIA Unhappy that I
am, I cannot heave Myheart intomy mouth. I love your Majesty According to my
bond; no more nor less. LEAR How, how, Cordelia! Mend your speech a little.
The barbarous  Scythian, Orhe that makes his generation messes To gorge
his appetite, shallto my bosom Beas well neighbour'd, pitied, and reliev'd, As thou
mysometime daughter. KENT Good my liege  LEAR Peace, Kent! Come ...
That thou hast sought to make us break our vows Which we durst never yet – and
with strain'd pride  To come betwixt our sentence and our power Which nor
our nature nor our place can bear; Ourpotency made good, take thy reward.
... for we Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see That faceof hersagain. [To
Cordelia] Therefore be gone  Without our grace, our love, our benison.
Come, noble Burgundy. [Flourish, ExuentLear, Burgundy, Cornwall, Albany,
FRANCE Come, my fair Cordelia. [Exeunt France and Cordelia.  GONERIL
Sister, it is not little I have to say of what most nearly appertains to us both. I think
our father will hence tonight. REGAN That's most certain, and withyou; nextmonth