Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “King Lear” as Want to Read:
King Lear
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book* *Different edition

King Lear

by
3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  137,293 Ratings  ·  2,695 Reviews
King Lear divides his kingdom between his three daughters, basing the portions, so he believes, on the depth of their love for him. This profoundly moving, nihilistic drama is one of Shakespeare's mightiest achievements and one of the greatest tragedies in world literature. Performed by Trevor Peacock, Julia Ford, and the Arkangel Cast.
Audio CD, 26 pages
Published September 8th 2005 by Arkangel (first published 1603)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about King Lear, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Ross Coleman
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Bill  Kerwin

I've read Lear many times, and, although I didn't learn anything new about the play this reading, I did learn a little about myself, and how I have changed. I have always loved the play, but in the past I found its injustice and evil nigh overpowering, its victims pathetically guiltless, its perspective verging on the nihilistic. Now, though, I see goodness and grace everywhere: in Cordelia's plain-spoken honesty and love for Lear, in Kent and Gloster's loyalty, in Edgar's bizarre attempt to hea
...more
Dolors
May 09, 2016 Dolors rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everybody with no exception
Recommended to Dolors by: Núria Espert
My first encounter with Shakespeare has totally swept me off my feet. As much as I had heard of the indisputable grandeur of the most famous playwright of all times I never expected to be so immersed in the swirling undercurrents of the incongruities of human nature that are so vividly portrayed in this tragedy. Even though my inexpensive Wordsworth edition wasn’t generous with annotations or academic essays, the universality of Shakespeare’s art, wrought in versed polyptotons, playful aphorisms ...more
Kat Stark
Dec 03, 2015 Kat Stark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


Let's take a jog through memory lane...to my high school years...when I fell in love with Shakespeare's work...(With some added dialogue and gifs of course, IOW = In Other Words)

We see in King Lear, that Shakespeare shows a contrast between the role a man plays in society and the role man plays for himself. Lear is, as known, a King and is supposed to be a man in control. A King of high status is loved by many and is in charge of everything that goes on in the Kingdom; overlooks others. Lear is
...more
Henry Avila
Jul 01, 2016 Henry Avila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child"...Good King Lear, feared in his younger days, has two, in pagan Britain, the inhabitants worship the numerous gods, there, hundreds of years before the birth of Christ, the ancient ruler, in his eighties, can no longer govern well, no stamina, his mind is deteriorating quickly, with no sons but three devoted daughters, he believes, decides to divide the kingdom, equally, between them, but first the widower monarch, needs to hea ...more
Riku Sayuj

A Fairy Tale I Give Thee, A ‘True Chronicle History’


[Dramatis Personæ:

The Bard, as Himself

World, as Itself

You, as Fool, in the Bard’s service

Kings, Daughters, Sons, Knights, Fools, Gentlemen, Soldiers, Attendants, Messengers, Servants.]


Act 1.1


Sennet. Enter [The Bard, You]


Bard:

Hark, A Fairy Tale I Give Thee, Fit for Today’s Times!


I have in my time, written many plays - tragedies, comedies, all - but reader beware: this might be my darkest vision yet.

I will exalt you; and in death’s throngs.

Ha
...more
Lyn
Apr 01, 2016 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays.

In college honors English at U. Tennessee Knoxville, I stumbled into a dissertation about a comparison of epic and tragic, using as templates Lear and Milton's Paradise Lost. In all of English class papers, there may never have been a more seasoned example of pure bull**** and left field logic. I think I got a B-, just because my instructor may have been worried about whether or not my meds had kicked in.

Still, in composing the literary testimony of
...more
Huda Yahya
با لعذابك يا لير
ويا لقسوة الدهر على شيخوختك

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage! Blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drenched our teeples, drowned the cocks!
You sulphurour and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Strike flat the thick rotundity o' the world!
Crack nature's molds, all germens spill at once
That make ingrateful man!...


لا أظن ان هناك من استطاع تصوير الانحدار نحو الجنون كما
...more
Hailey (HailsHeartsNyc)
Honestly didn't enjoy this as much as I had expected to. I think my expectations were too high. But, it was still an enjoyable play!
Manny
I was lucky enough to be living in Stockholm when Ingmar Bergman staged Lear at the Swedish National Theatre in the late 80s, and I saw it twice. Bergman's take on the play was very interesting and unusual; he interpreted it as fundamentally optimistic.

Obviously, you're wondering why, and in the hands of a lesser director it would probably just have been a piece of unnecessary perversity. Bergman's reasoning was, in fact, not bizarre. He saw the key scene of the play as the reconciliation betwee
...more
David
Apr 05, 2009 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-20
This is where Shakespeare takes off the gloves. He brings us right to the edge of the abyss, then kicks us over that edge. King Lear is the most devastating by far of the Shakespeare tragedies -- this is a play which leaves the reader shattered as the curtain falls.

The play has a kind of primal power, which I find hard to explain. The plot is fairly typically Shakespeare, perhaps a little more complicated than usual, mixing elements taken from legend and from the historical record. At the outse
...more
Bram
Mar 12, 2010 Bram rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, the-bard
In a world where every king must give up his crown, where tragedies end in death and all comes to dust, this is a hopeful tale. This hope won’t appear in a plot summary or in the morbid sum of deaths by play’s end, and yet there are key moments of reconciliation for both of the aged, long-suffering characters. After experiencing little but anguish for much of the play, Lear and Gloucester are granted a reprieve from the darkest of fates. Granted, these 11th hour reprieves are short-lived, but in ...more
Duane
To call King Lear a tragedy somehow seems lacking. I don't know where in literature (let alone in real life) you could find a greater succession of calamities, all coming to a bad end. It's generally regarded as one of Shakespeare's greatest works, right along with Hamlet and Macbeth.
4.5 stars
Kelly
As the bright red firament of stars above might give away, I really responded to this play. I may have done so in both negative and positive ways, but this story made a really lasting impression on me. It did for me what Macbeth could not- gave me genuinely tragic characters who earned the tears and compassion that I gave for them by the end of the journey.

Thinking about it in retrospect, a useful guide for King Lear is provided by another of Shakespeare's characters, Jacques, and his Ages of Ma
...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
2109 fellow Goodreaders [can’t be wrong] gave it 1 star. Many call it boring. Some even say it is predictable and has no moral lesson. That these people have the right to vote and to procreate is frightening to me.


I am NOT ranking the play itself here, only the Norton Critical Edition version (2007). Shakespeare’s Lear is, duh, one of western culture’s great achievements and personally I think it has become my favorite Shakespeare play.

I won't lie... I didn't even finish this one. All of the fa
...more
Fernando
Nov 18, 2015 Fernando rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
El teatro, el drama, es un género que no acostumbro a leer muy a menudo, pero cada vez que me acerco a este tipo de clásicos, lo hago a partir de William Shakespeare. Sólo tengo cuatro libros del genial bardo, a saber y en orden de predilección: Macbeth, Hamlet, La Tempestad y este, que me ha agradado en buena manera. Los dos primeros que enumero siguen siendo mis predilectos, especialmente Macbeth, por ser la obra más oscura y malvada de Shakespeare.
Respecto de El Rey Lear, y como en la mayoría
...more
Jan-Maat
This was something that I read as an A-level set text in English Literature at the age of seventeen or so. It's only many years later that it is slowly dawning on me just how shocking a play it is. Not simply because of the ultra violence on and off stage (and for well over a hundred years theatre goers saw a version with a happy ending in which Cordelia wasn't hanged by the neck until dead) but the device of concurrent monologues with actors on stage not engaged in dialogue and the pre-Christia ...more
Γιώρη Μπέλκος
Δεν αποφεύγεται εύκολα ο παραλληλισμός του Βασιλιά Ληρ με τον εσωτερικό βασιλιά που μας διαφεντεύει. Τη στιγμή που ο (εσωτερικός) βασιλιάς αποφασίζει να παραχωρήσει το βασίλειό του, τότε είναι που αναδύονται οι πιο μύχιες ανασφάλειες που αποζητούν την επιβεβαίωση. Τί είναι άλλωστε ένας βασιλέας χωρίς το βασίλειό του; Αυτοί που του λεν την αλήθεια είναι αυτοί που φαντάζουν στα μάτια του βασιλιά απειλητικοί. Είναι αυτοί που υποθάλπτουν το φαντασιακό οικοδόμημα. Μπροστά στην απειλή του να χάσει αυτ ...more
Aubrey
I gave you all.

And in good time you gave it.


They told me I was everything; 'tis a lie[.]
There's little respect for the old where I come from. My personal bias being what it is, it's taken some time for me to look past my individual justification to the broader scope of human beings inheriting power from human beings. Land, fealty, divine right. Once you held sway over three begotten children. Now authority has turned contumely and you seek to divest it and its bloodsuckers into the hands of th
...more
David Sarkies
May 02, 2016 David Sarkies rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tragedy
A Story of a Man who just wants to be Loved
16 April 2009

This is by far and away my favourite Shakespeare play. It is a very dark and brooding play that is not only incredibly violent, but also ends very badly for most of the main characters. King Lear is one of Shakespeare's great tragedies (along with the Scottish Play and Hamlet) though I find that Hamlet is a lot tighter and the plots are a lot more intertwined than King Lear.

What I mean by this is that there are, I'll say two, plots runnin
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
King Lear, William Shakespeare
عنوان: لیر شاه؛ نویسنده: ویلیام شکسپیر؛ مترجم: جواد پیمان؛ بنگاه ترجمه و نشر، 1347؛ در 296 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: انتشارات علمی فرهنگی، 1373؛
لیر شاه، پادشاه کهنسال انگلستان، قلمرو خویش به دو دختر ناسپاس و چاپلوس خود میبخشد، دختر کهترش را که از چرب زبانی و مداهنه پرهیز دارد، محروم میکند، از آن پس دو دختر چنان با پدر پیر خویش، رفتار میکنند که لیر دیوانه میشود. سر به بیابان میگذارد. این قسمت از نمایشنامه، پرتو درخشان نبوغ شکسپیر است. سرانجام لیر دیوانه، جسد بیجان دختر کهتر را، ک
...more
Nikos Tsentemeidis
May 03, 2016 Nikos Tsentemeidis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theatre
"Πρέπει να αντέξουμε το βάρος της θλιβερής μας εποχής:
τα λόγια μας να μην τα επιβάλλει χρέος, αλλά κατάθεση ψυχής.
Οι πρόγονοί μας είχαν βάσανα χειρότερα. Κι εμείς, που τώρα ζούμε,
ούτε στα χρόνια τους θα φτάσουμε, ούτε τόσα πολλά θα δούμε."

Συγκλονιστικό έργο. Το τρίτο και καλύτερο που διαβάζω του Shakespeare, μετά τον Άμλετ και τον Μακμπέθ. Άξιος απόγονος των τριών αρχαίων Ελλήνων τραγικών. Δεν έχω κάτι πιο συγκεκριμένο να πω, κάθε φράση είναι ένα δίδαγμα.
Teresa
Sep 06, 2016 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-inglaterra, e5, g-teatro
"Não mostres tudo o que tens nem digas tudo o que sabes. Não acredites em tudo o que ouves, não arrisques tudo o que tens."
(Bobo - Ato I, Cena 4)


Lear está velho, quer libertar-se das preocupações do reino e viver o resto dos seus dias ao cuidado das filhas. Entrega a coroa e os territórios às duas que lhe demonstram, com belas palavras, o seu amor por ele; a terceira - mais dada à sinceridade - é escorraçada. Mas, como diz o Bobo, "o pardal alimenta tão bem o cuco que este acaba por o comer."


description
((
...more
peiman-mir5 rezakhani
به درستی میشه گفت یه شاهکار بینظیر از شکسپیر هستش

به نظر من دلنشینترین بخش، اون لحظه ای هست که مرد پاسبان داره اون روسپی رو شلاق یا تازیانه میزنه... به گفته شکسپیر بزرگ، اون مرد پاسبان وقتی داشت اون روسپی رو تازیانه میزد به سختی نیاز داشت که با روسپی همون کاری رو انجام بده که بخاطرش داشت تازیانه رو بالا و پایین میبرد

این بخش از نمایشنامه، نشان دهنده این حقیقت هستش که، همیشه افراد تابع اون قانون ، خواستی سرکوب شده برای انجام اون کاری رو دارن که بخاطرش دارن فرد خاطی رو مجازات میکنن

پیروز باشید و ایرا
...more
Natalie Monroe
A guide to all Shakespeare tragedies:

Jonathan
His greatest work, in my opinion, which makes it one of the greatest works of art our species has produced. Its greatness lies not just in its language or in its analysis of power, but in the extraordinary structure of it, and its complete refusal to follow the usual dramatic arcs. How shocking must it have been for a Jacobean audience to see a god-chosen king reduced to scrabbling around in a hovel?

The heartbreaking irreversibility of mortality. Age and loss. The stripping away of self. Love.
...more
Sophia
Aug 23, 2015 Sophia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
pretty solid.
Nelson Zagalo
Aug 24, 2016 Nelson Zagalo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
À terceira peça de Shakespeare, depois de "Hamlet" (1602) e "Macbeth" (1606), padrões começam a emergir e as minha ideias sobre a sua obra começam a ganhar consistência, das quais extraio duas grandes conclusões: uma sobre as qualidades dramáticas, e outra sobre as insuficiências do texto.

"King Lear and the Fool in the Storm" (1851) de William Dyce

Shakespeare é considerado um dos maiores arautos das letras, sendo provavelmente o autor mais estudado nas Faculdades de Letras de todo o mundo. Uma
...more
Trevor
Jun 14, 2010 Trevor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
I went to see Lear again last week. It must be the fifth time I have seen it performed and I’ve read it three or four times. It is a play that I can never become ‘familiar’ with. It is like no other play I know.

This time was the second time I have seen it performed by the Bell Shakespeare Company. This one was much better than the last – and I think I can say that because this time the performance brought out lots of the humour of the play. This is a play that is as dark as it is possible to mak
...more
Amir Lewiz


بضدها تتميز الأشياء


هنا الشر و الخير في صراع قوي و عنيف


هنا الخيانة و العقوق و الأنانية و محبة المال و السلطة و الخداع و التملق

و هنا أيضا الوفاء و الحب الحقيقي و التضحية وانكار الذات


هنا تكريم الكاذب الخادع
و احتقار و نفي الصادق المخلص


و بناءً عليه فإن الأحداث كما يطلق علي هذه المرحلة من أدب شكسبير :

مــأســــاااااة

و كالعادة جمال الأسلوب و متعة الحوار بين الشخصيات ..بلا حشو أو ملل



حينما نري أسيادنا
يقاسون ما نقاسي
لا نشعر بمصائبنا
و من تألم وحده كان ألمه أشد علي النفس
حيت يولّي ظهره لمظاهر السعا
...more
Ellen
Mar 03, 2010 Ellen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, drah-mah
On the Fool

The Fool’s presence in King Lear lasts for little more than two acts. While the fool provides some needed comic relief, more importantly, he serves as Lear’s moral guide, illuminating Lear’s faults and provoking Lear to action. The first references to the Fool serve to let us know that he’s not in Goneril’s camp, and he is sympathetic to Cordelia.

When the Fool does at last appear, Lear’s regard is apparent. The Fool, in conversation with Kent, refers to Lear obliquely as “this fellow”
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • The Changeling (New Mermaids)
  • The Duchess of Malfi
  • Oedipus at Colonus (The Theban Plays, #2)
  • The Iceman Cometh
  • The Three Sisters
  • The Spanish Tragedy
  • Edward II
  • Volpone
  • The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade
  • Endgame & Act Without Words
  • 'Tis Pity She's a Whore
  • Suddenly Last Summer
  • Saint Joan
  • Samson Agonistes
  • The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?
  • Peer Gynt
  • Arcadia
947
William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr ...more
More about William Shakespeare...

Share This Book



109 trivia questions
2 quizzes
More quizzes & trivia...
“When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools.” 343 likes
“Nothing will come of nothing: speak again.” 286 likes
More quotes…