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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GONERIL Sir, I love you more than word can wield the matter;  Dearer than
eyesight, space, and liberty; Beyond whatcanbe valued, rich orrare; No less than
life, with grace, health, beauty, honour; As much as child e'er lov'd, or father found
Haply,when I shall wed,  That lord whose hand must take my plight shall
carry Half my love with him, half my care and duty. Sure I shall never marry like
my sisters, To love my father all. LEARBut goes thy heart with this? CORDELIA
KENT Royal Lear, Whom I have ever honour'd as my king,  Lov'd as my
father, as my master follow'd, As my great patron thought onin myprayers LEAR
The bow is bent and drawn; make from the shaft. KENT Let it fall rather, though
BURGUNDY Royal king, Givebutthat portion which yourself propos'd, And hereI
take Cordelia by thehand, Duchess of Burgundy.  LEAR Nothing! I have
sworn; I am firm. BURGUNDY Iam sorry,then, you have so lost a father Thatyou.
BURGUNDY Iam sorry,then, you have so lost a father Thatyou must lose a
husband. CORDELIA Peace be with Burgundy! Since that respects of fortune are
his love I shall not be his wife.  FRANCE Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich,