Trenton Judson's Reviews > King Lear

King Lear by William Shakespeare
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's review
Mar 08, 2012

really liked it
Read in March, 2012

I have undertaken a task to reread my favorite Shakespeare plays and then watch the corresponding BBC DVD. I started with Lear. I find that every time I read Lear I seem to get more out of it and there really is some magnificent passages, "Is man no more than this?" , "Who is is that can tell me who I am?" "He's mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a horse's health, a boy's love, or a whore's oath," "The prince of darkness is a gentleman," etc. And I love the character of Kent and Edgar and the villainy of Edmund, and the madness of Lear, but I am an old school thinker and what captivates me is a compelling story and although Shakespeare's characterization makes the play interesting, the plot itself is at times tepid and I know that critics argue this is the best Shakespeare play, but I must very respectfully disagree. I can think of many plays of the bards that I not only enjoy more, but that the language and the story and the characters are in such cooperation that it creates masterpiece that just mesmerizes you into a world that you cannot escape. Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo And Juliet, Othello... Just to name a few. I always have felt that Lear lacks that magic quality of the other plays. Now that being said, it is Shakespeare and it does elevate itself above most of the comedies and many of the histories and you do feel a connection/sympathy for Lear, like he is your friends grandfather or something, but the depth, for me, ends there and maybe its that reason that I keep coming back to it and sift through its text to try and find the skeleton key for me to consider Lear a masterpiece.

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